Zero Library Delicacy #3
"The preparations are finished," Theo said.
Vince, who was also immersed in reading, looked at Theo. Vince knew how much Theo had concentrated in the past six days, but he couldn't help exclaiming with admiration. The book [Battle Song] was famous for its theory and vocabulary which was different from existing magic systems. There were a few phrases which were unclear, attesting to their foreign origin.
'But taking less than a week to comprehend it... Theo's comprehension is beyond my expectations!'
The cover of the book had become even more tattered during the last six days. In a situation where the understanding didn't reach 100%, calling it 'complete' might be offensive. However, it was difficult to understand any more of the book's contents without the author.
The differences in perception between the author and reader: the noise caused by the gaps between the eras and civilizations; the various interpretations of different expressions; and so forth... When such errors were reduced, Theo's understanding was at 95%.
Vince already had nothing he could teach Theo about 'Battle Song.' In fact, Theo might have a deeper understanding in some parts. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that skill in magic was different from comprehension.
For Theo to improve the magic as a 5th Circle magician, it was impossible. If it was that simple, then other magicians would've already announced the improved magic. The current situation was one in which he could only have Gluttony eat the book.
"Hooo... Then I shall start." Theo took a deep breath and extended his hand.
This was the third time he would experience something like this.
The first time had been when Gluttony ate Alfred Bellontes' [Ballistics Magic] and shared Alfred's experience on the battlefield. The memory of shooting the Magic Bullet was still engraved vividly in his mind.
The second time had been when [Introduction to Elemental Magic] had been eaten and he'd met Myrdal. Myrdal had casually seen through Theo and called Mitra for Theo to make a contract with.
'What will happen this time?'
The previous two times had been 'Rare' books, but the rank of this book was 'Treasure.' It was likely that an unpredictable phenomenon would occur.
-I have been waiting, User!
Theo's left hand was held open, and the tongue emerged and found its prey. Gluttony paused for a moment like it was enjoying the taste of [Battle Song] before swallowing it. This was the moment when a book from the Zero Library would be permanently lost.
['Battle Song' has been consumed. Your understanding is very high.]
[The unique magic 'Battle Song' has been acquired.]
[An original book has been consumed. Checking synchro rate with Lee Yoonsung... It is judged to be at a very suitable level. Lee Yoonsung will interact with the user. Lee Yoonsung has accepted the spiritual connection.]
[Synchro is starting.]
His ears started ringing when he heard the familiar voice of the guide. As he felt the sense of confusion which came with his consciousness being separated forcibly, Theo collapsed silently onto the bed.
Vince's worried voice echoed as Theo's consciousness was sucked away.
Theo fell into the infinite abyss of knowledge inside Gluttony.
As Theodore regained consciousness, a refreshing wind blew against his face. It wasn't a wind which could be felt on the plains. He knew from his past experiences playing in an old mountain valley.
This was a light wind which could be felt near a mountain peak. Theo's lips moved by themselves as he understood this fact.
"...How is it? Is this a good wind?" It was a voice Theo had never heard before.
Since he had already entered Alfred's body, Theo quickly accepted the situation. He had been half confident when he lost consciousness while hearing the word 'synchro.' Then the owner of this body must be the magician, Lee Yoonsung, who wrote [Battle Song].
'By the way, who was he talking to just now?'
"You, the person who is in my body right now."
'Heok!' Theodore jolted with a surprised expression as he was spoken to.
Whether he believed it or not, the man was standing and pointing his finger in one direction. Theodore's gaze followed that finger. Then in the distance, a wooden building which looked like a large mansion came into his view. Even though he was looking down from a mountain peak, the structure was clearly visible.
"I was born into the Fairy Dance Lee family which protects the Baekun Mountains. If this were in the western countries, it would be similar to being the successor of a family of knights."
'Western countries? Perhaps an Eastern person?'
"Yes, it seems like this wasn't known after my death."
'An Eastern person!' Theodore's consciousness stirred for a moment.
There was a place to the southeast of the Meltor Kingdom and could only be reached by crossing the sea. It was a place where aura was more predominant than magic, so magicians were reborn as independent magicians.
'How did an Eastern person come to Meltor and create his own magic like Battle Song?' It was natural for Theo to wonder about that.
"Well, just listen to me," Lee Yoonsung said with a bitter smile. "I was born with a high status, but the path of my life was never straight. I was born with a body that was unable to use aura. As soon as this fact was revealed to my family, I was removed from the family register and driven to the peaks."
Lee Yoonsung's voice was calm as he looked back through the memories of his life. There was a shabby hut that looked like it was on the verge of collapsing, and images of eating food left by a servant passed through Theodore's mind. Lee Yoonsung's memories flowed naturally into Theo due to the influence of synchro.
"That was my destiny, but I couldn't accept it."
Fortunately, Lee Yoonsung had been an intelligent boy. After months of preparation, he had left the hut in the east and decided to turn his eyes toward magic.
At the age of 15, he had left the rugged mountain ranges to enter a magic kingdom. There were a few almost deadly experiences, but he had managed to cross the continent using jewels he'd stole from his family.
After several twists and turns, he had arrived at Meltor.
"Fortunately, I met a good teacher. Thanks to him, I was able to start my research in a magic tower and developed a magic based on the secrets of my family that I remembered from my childhood. That is the 'Battle Song.' I managed to complete it in 20 years."
'...That's amazing.' Theodore truly admired him.
Not only had he crossed continents at the age of 15, Lee Yoonsung had finished his purpose in an unknown country. Despite having no talent, he had pioneered his own fate.
"But that magic wasn't perfect. Since it was based on my family, I added in unnecessary things in order to fill that guilt. I will try to teach you the complete version of 'Battle Song' before you leave." As Lee Yoonsung spoke, he took on a stance.
Simultaneously, the circles on his heart started burning. Akin to a waterwheel, magic power flowed out like streams of water and filled up the body. As the magic flowed in accordance to his heartbeat, the sound of the song, 'Battle Song,' resonated in the body shared by the two people. It was a violent flow which was intense enough to cause his shoulders to shake.
"Since we are called the Fairy Dance clan, my family's martial art is close to a rhythmic dance. I recreated the aura flow through 'Battle Song' for me, who wasn't allowed to use it!" Lee Yoonsung spoke furiously while moving his body.
Then as the uncontrollable passion escaped, his gentle dance changed forms.
Kung! His feet were firm against the ground.
'A fearsome power...!'
As Lee Yoonsung firmly centered himself on the ground like a tortoise shell, he stretched out his fist. His fist was so powerful that the air exploded from a shock wave.
Lee Yoonsung unfolded his martial arts without any rest, not even caring if his clothes were blown away. Every time he did a dance move, the ground would shake and the air would explode. It was an outburst of violence which he couldn't imagine as a magician.
Magic born from martial arts, martial arts created with magic...
Theo forgot his admiration and focused as much as possible on Lee Yoonsung knowing he would be a fool to let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass by. Whether or not Lee Yoonsung was conscious of this, he continued moving without any hesitation.
"Later on, I once returned to my family. I wanted to prove that I wasn't a worthless person they could ignore."
Then he roared like a beast and kicked the air with his right foot.
The wind pressure caused by the kick blew the shabby hut away without a trace. His boiling passion moved the magic power even more, enhancing the power of the martial art. After a few more times, Lee Yoonsung stopped kicking the air. Despite making a mess around the hut, he wasn't out of breath at all.
His voice shook like a storm was occurring. "...My father was still alive at that time. His face distorted as he said I sold myself for magic. This was despite the fact that I was better than any other person in the family."
Nothing was left as his passion died down, and Lee Yoonsung was eventually murmuring in an empty voice. As his words came to an end, there was a sadness which hadn't been revealed before. This was the fragment of soul which had been left behind in the [Battle Song] book.
"Then I returned to the Meltor Kingdom and spent the rest of my life there. Perhaps I paid the price of abusing my body during the process of creating this magic."
Creating new spells were a challenge, and numerous magicians had died in their attempts. A single failure with Battle Song would tear the muscles and cause the failure of one's internal organs. As a consequence, Lee Yoonsung was near death after the magic was completed.
He spoke in a voice which sounded lonelier than ever, "I didn't know I would get a successor in this way, but I don't intend to ask you for anything. In the end, I am just a fragment of the foolish Lee Yoonsung. Rather, I would like to thank you."
'Thank me... What does he mean by that?'
"It was a dumb life where I couldn't leave anything behind. The magic I created wasn't complete, and my family didn't acknowledge me. I don't know how I died, but it wasn't a satisfying life," he spoke to no one as he extended his hands into the empty space.
It was a strange posture where his palm was placed over the fist of his other hand. Theo didn't know it well, but it was the eastern etiquette called a fist and palm salute. This was Lee Yoonsung's appreciation for Theodore Miller, who inherited the result of his foolishness.
At that moment, Lee Yoonsung's world started to collapse.
"I hope this will help you a little bit in your life, Young Man."
There was no time to respond to his gracious words as the world collapsed. Then as always, Gluttony's unkind function expelled Theo's consciousness. As the appearance of Lee Yoonsung looking around the Baekun Mountains became distant, Theo's third synchro experience came to an end.
[The synchronization with Lee Yoonsung has ended.]
[The synchro rate is 92.8%, the experience is maintained.]
[The unique magic 'Battle Song' has been restored to its perfect state. Lee Yoonsung's experience has turned into proficiency for that magic.]
[The suitability between Lee Yoonsung and the user Theodore Miller is quite high. Depending on the user's body, some of Lee Yoonsung's skills and abilities will be handed down. As the user's physical abilities will increase significantly, a long period of sleep is required. In the meantime, Gluttony will also go to sleep.]
[At the present time, you will sleep for 30 hours and 12 minutes.]