Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
The dragon core, the fantastical creatures’ echo location, the fairies’ gregariousness. Each system of magic was formed with a particular purpose in mind.
Obviously, since humans weren’t born with the innate ability to use magic, they needed to imitate other species.
The Draconic Magic System. Its purpose was simple: to imitate the magical core of a dragon, carry the radiant dragon heart that had been turned into a jewel, and use the immense magical power possessed by a dragon.
At a time when one’s magic power and sensing range didn’t increase every time their ring grew, it was no wonder that people tried to imitate dragons, the beings known as the Lords of Mana.
However, as it would turn out, the result was the exact same. The sorcerer’s heart would turn to stone and give up in the face of the accompanying unrelenting pain. After finally succeeding in learning the secret technique, their bodies would collapse from the stress placed on their changed hearts.
If the amount of material prepared was incorrect, only half of their heart would change.
He wasn’t sure how much time had passed. Maybe three, four days? His time perception had disappeared.
Allen opened his heavy eyelids, mind blank.
‘How long had passed?’
He hadn’t slept.
The storm that had been produced when his ring shattered was still raging on. It would end only after running its course.
“Has even ten percent of my heart changed yet?”
He laughed. He understood why he didn’t know of anyone who’d been trained in this technique.
They were all dead.
His heart felt like it was being bitten off, piece by piece. Little by little, slowly and steadily. His heart of flesh turned solid.
He couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink—he couldn’t even find solace in sleep. He had to simply sit in place and hope the pain would end.
Allen looked at his surroundings with a twisted expression.
‘When did all of the dragon bones disappear?’
After gathering his thoughts, he saw that the space around him was empty. His magic storm was out of reach.
What could he do?
“Haaa… How can I do this?”
He pulled himself up. Every muscle in his body trembled as he fell over again and again.
‘It’s alright. I won’t give up. I’ll get back up, again and again.’
Using his sword’s sheath as a cane, he set himself back up. One step, and then another. Even crawling would be faster than this.
The magic storm—formed through Allen’s every step—gradually moved forward with him until it collided into the remains of the abandoned ruins.
The great impact marked the demise of those millennium-long abandoned remains. The now-collapsed remains—suddenly broken down after enduring for so many years—were absorbed into the mana storm.
His heart was gnawed away again as he began to walk once more.
* * *
“Thank you so much for helping us!”
“Oh, it’s nothing.”
Julius had just rescued the girl standing in front of him. Her short, purple hair came down onto her shoulders. She had pale-yellow eyes and a cute face.
She’d surely be a beauty in the future.
For now, she was just a cute kid. However…
“No! I was so worried about my mother, she seemed so sick…”
The Sun Sorceress.
Julius already knew. This cute little girl would make a name for herself someday in the future as a powerful sorceress.
The color of her magic, a vibrant shade of orange.
‘I knew that she lived in the western part of the kingdom, somewhere near the Michellant Mountains right around now.’
Since he hadn’t found her in the region northwest of Garvia, he went to look around the southwest as well, just in case.
Her story, that he already knew in advance, was a common one in this world.
Her mother would die in the near future.
After that, as per usual, she would continue to live, unaware of her talent. She would find out that her mother's death was the work of a dark sorcerer, and then…
‘She decides to take her revenge.’
In order to take revenge, she recklessly headed towards the magic-tower-governed free city of Perta. After all, there was nothing more powerful in the world than a sorcerer from a fairy tale for a young girl.
In a world full of bandits and monsters, she was lucky to make it to the city in one piece, and even luckier to be spotted by a passing sorcerer upon arrival. After that, she became a full-fledged sorceress of her own, traveling the world and slaughtering dark sorcerers.
That was her backstory in the novel that Julius read.
He quietly opened his mouth to speak to Anya, who’d looked at him with an emotional expression.
“Well then, Anya. What are you going to do in the future?”
“Hmm… Well, my mom is better now, so I want to learn magic. If I can be a sorceress then I’ll be super rich. So then I can make sure my mom is healthy all the time.”
She smiled brightly, thinking of a hopeful future.
Julius wore a strange expression at her desire to become a sorceress despite her future having changed. He said enticingly, “Then, do you want to come with me?”
“What? Go with you?” Her head tilted back and forth.
Julius felt the need to put together a strong team that could help him prepare for future disasters.
‘It’ll be too late if I don’t start preparing now.’
That was how the novel’s ending was ruined.
“If you swear to follow me now, I’ll teach you how to use magic and protect your mother as well. How does that sound?”
Her eyes widened—an easily understood reaction.
Thinking that he was already halfway towards persuading her, Julius added, “I’ll also give you a salary.”
“I’ll do it! Let me do it, sir!”
Julius smiled widely.
“Well, then. Come with me for a second. I want to show you something.”
When she looked up, she found a red dot on a round radar. A measure put in place for the sake of the remains of the ancient empire lying near the town.
Those remains were simply called Lost Technology.
A place filled with the remains of a civilization in full swing. Steampunk decor, a mechanized and automated civilization, advanced magic, international botanical gardens, etc. It was the place where the civilization developed by many different races settled.
The reason why Julius brought her to the ruins was simple.
‘She has to see it all clearly from the very beginning.’
What kind of adventure would they embark on? What kind of journey would await?
Still only a child, she wouldn’t have rejected Julius’s offer, regardless of the answers to those questions.
Julius confidently headed towards the ruins.
Anya didn’t have a single doubt about what he’d said about saving her mother from the disease. As the nobleman ruling this area, he’d have no reason to lie to a commoner.
So she followed him with ease.
“Whoa… She’s so pretty!”
Anya chattily followed Laina who was walking behind him.
It was a lovely day.
* * *
‘How long had passed?’
His ears heard a hallucination while his eyes felt like they were about to fall out.
He felt a chill, as if the lamp had run out of oil.
His limbs began to twitch.
He raised his head.
There were no dragon bones left around him. What about the giants’ bones?
‘To the left.’
He went right.
Before he even knew it, everything to the left of him had turned to dust and was absorbed into his storm.
His body, still supported by the sheath of his sword, felt even heavier.
Could he not move anymore?
He could keep going.
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
“Whoa... Sir, this is…”
Anya was impressed by the space, covered and filled with countless steam engines and cogs, and left speechless by the magnificent appearance of the smooth iron plating and the steam spouting out of it.
Where could a girl like her, who’d only ever lived in a tiny village, get to see such wonderful things like this?
Julius ignored it all, instead, taking stock of the discrepancies.
The gap between the old technology and the new technology built to imitate it was huge, and the remainder of the ruins were largely secured so that the technology inside could not be taken out.
The reason for which was unknown.
However, that was how it was presented in the novel, so he just let it be. Despite that, there were countless attempts to imitate how it was in the original work.
All of which were failures.
Only particularly skilled dwarves—who were good with their hands—had ever been successful.
In any case, it was difficult to gain a lot of interest because the importance of a technique that didn’t use magic was low for humans, who had a substitute for magic.
‘...It’s not that practical, but…’
To him, that reasoning seemed to be nothing but another nail in the coffin to prevent the spread of technology.
“Anya, come over here.”
Anya, who’d been exploring around the ruins, followed Julius’s call.
He handed her a transparent box. She gazed at the object inside, as if bewitched.
“It’s a… tiny sun…?”
“Hm… yeah, you could say that. It’s a little sun.”
It was a fuel device, found in most steampunk-esque ruins. Since she would one day be known as the Sun Sorceress, he thought it could be helpful to acquire a relic related to the sun.
“It’s for you.”
“What?! It looks so valuable, though…”
She spoke with a startled expression, but tightly held on to the little box, as if she didn’t want to let it go.
What would he do with it otherwise? Throw it away?
He felt pathetic as he watched her young face, filled to the brim with conflict.
“If you sign a five-year contract—”
“I’ll do it!”
Julius smiled with satisfaction and nodded.
‘If I can increase the length of her contract little by little…’
He would be able to keep her around until the very last disaster.
‘But the end of the disasters isn’t the end.’
Wouldn’t it make sense for there to be some backstabbing after the end of the end?
One thing that bothered him was that, unlike in the novel, she wouldn’t have any ill will.
‘But it’s still the same person, so she’ll surely produce the same outcome.’
She was just as talented as she was in the book, so she was sure to help quell the disasters and make a name for herself in the future.
Julius didn’t think too deeply into it. He was sure that she’d rather live a hero’s glamorous life than continue on the peasant’s path.
‘Now, should I start looking for “that thing” from the novel?’
Julius quickly went around the ruins.
There wasn’t much time left until he would receive the Ruins Detector as a quest reward, so he needed to hurry.
* * *
It seemed as though lots of time had passed.
The magic storm had weakened. Before he even knew it, about forty percent of his heart had changed into something else—no longer his own flesh and blood.
The weakened storm hadn’t broken down all of the remains in his surroundings.
His voice had become husky from thirst. His tongue had completely dried up, unable to do so much as wetting a lip.
Allen narrowly opened his eyes.
He moved his body slowly. His rusty body couldn’t move according to its will. He stabbed his sword on the ground to support himself as he stood, but he soon stumbled and sank back onto the floor.
He got up again. He lifted his sword once more and was able to stand up fully this time.
He headed towards a nearby dragon corpse. Its remains were broken, but not completely destroyed.
He hit it with the sword sheath.
He felt a tingling sensation in his hand. That was enough. Due to the years of weathering, the bones were crushed by a simple blow.
‘It’s pretty slow.’
Allen tied his hand to his sheath. It was hard for him to hold it due to how much his arms were shaking.
The unregulated urine and feces produced a foul smell, and it was difficult to distinguish directions in the thick darkness. And with the magic storm along with the noises of all the swirling, crushing remains left him almost entirely disoriented.
Dragging his feet to the remains, he finally swung his sword sheath onto them.
The remains crumbled in just two hits. However, his own body also collapsed due to the strong resistance.
He looked away. As soon as he got up again, his legs gave way.
Where was he? Where was this place?
For a very brief moment, he lost his mind.
With bloodshot eyes, he straightened his upper body.
It was only for a moment. A very brief moment.
But what if the magic storm had dispersed in that time?
‘What if that’s how I died?’
The one whom he owed reparation.
He followed him. He followed his image.
His younger brother, who had been following the hero’s path, who had forgiven him even if he tried to start a fight or escape from their family…
No, was that really his brother?
He slapped himself.
Blood flowed out from around his eyes, likely because he scratched his face with his nails. The blood sunk into the corners of his mouth, returning him to his senses.
‘How long has it been?’
He felt as though his heart had been at least halfway changed. There were still enough dragon bones left and some more giant remains that he could use in a different way.
It was clear to him that the dragon’s core would explode.
So Allen held up his sword, and the sword moved on its own.
It was in a different way than what he had been trained in. It wasn’t so systematic of a movement; it was a struggle from the cruel crutches of death.
The dragons’ remains had broken.
His body fell down again and again.
“Just a little more…”
He got up once more.
A desperate wind blew from his magic storm.
His will became devotion, and that devotion soon turned into obsession.
He had to do it for his brother.
For his brother. He had to do it.
‘What comes first?’
The bleeding refreshed him.
He raised his sword again.
He was okay so far.
He had to be okay.
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