Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
Julius let out a small exclamation of joy at the tingling sensation in his body.
There were various glass bottles rolling around on the floor next to him.
He concentrated, and a tremendous display of magic moved fluidly around his body while the shape of a lightning bolt was engraved onto his lower stomach.
‘The Dragon’s Engraving.’
He only thought of acquiring it because of the Brain Delay he’d received from the free draw.
Though, he couldn’t use it fully yet.
This body was special.
No matter what potion it consumed, no matter what medicine it took; it could easily absorb difficult magical techniques such as engraving.
As if this weren’t impressive enough, Julius—who was familiar with the main character of the novel—was even a little surprised by the vigorous movement of his body when absorbing such skills.
With a body like his, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to compare it to the original protagonist’s.
After quickly changing into the clothing that Laina had prepared for him, he left the secret room within the ruins.
He’d robbed countless ancient ruins in the last month. Currency from the ancient empire, gemstones, and gold bars. From works of art to sought-after relics. He didn’t commonly come across ancient relics, but the amount in his possession had become considerable after excavating so many sites.
“Is this the end?”
Julius looked around, back at the ruins that he’d just exited.
He became emotional at the red sunset, indicating that night had come. He entered the ruins in the morning, but he didn’t leave until evening had come.
It had taken a while to absorb the potions.
‘It’s certainly not easy to think about.’
All of the remaining ancient ruins in the county were ordered to be destroyed.
In the meantime, however, he was able to rob the remains of Hidden Peace and acquire Anya, who would become a valuable tool in the future.
Yet Julius was still lacking the strength that he’d been searching for.
“Ugh… This one was too hard. I’d rather face a Guardian or solve a puzzle or something…” Anya said with an annoyed expression, and Julius nodded in agreement.
“We can owe this one to Laina.”
Ancient ruins could be categorized into two kinds: hidden and unhidden. It was unknown whether or not it was intentional, but one could find more items in the hidden ruins than the unhidden.
However, there were many instances in which the ruins were protected by the Guardian of the ruins’ original inhabitants or were protected from those unknowing of the ways of ancient times with the use of puzzles.
Having experienced the ruins, Julius pondered. It seemed as though most of the ancient ruins intended to test their intruders rather than protect its contents. As if he were allowed to take anything—whether it be knowledge or objects—so long as he had the qualifications.
This was a subject that the main character of the novel had also wondered about.
‘It wasn’t revealed at the end, but…’
Perhaps the reason behind it was just to preserve ancient knowledge for as long as possible.
That would make sense.
Looking at Laina, who followed him silently, Julius asked, “Laina, is there anything you want? Tell me if you need anything. We’ve found a lot of stuff thanks to you.”
Laina shook her head and replied, “No, thank you. I’m simply doing my duty, sir.”
“And that includes following me to the ancient ruins?”
As she expressed her refusal as if it were natural, Julius shook his head with a smirk.
He didn’t think so. No matter how dedicated a servant may be, it didn't make sense for one to follow their master to an obviously dangerous place.
Julius took a small bottle from his coat.
Inside was a glimmering blue potion.
[Sea Nymph’s Tears (S)]
A potion that the main character obtained around halfway through the story. With it, mana could flow more smoothly within the consumer’s body.
To put it bluntly, it was like a small upgrade.
‘I was going to give it to my brother, but…’
Julius looked at Laina as seven colors flashed in his eyes.
Maybe if she were Orange, he would have given it to her. However, Yellow wasn’t going to be enough to keep up with him.
Unlike in the original novel, his brother’s talent was judged to be Black, so he’d be fine.
At that, Laina had believed his excuse that he had a head injury and devoted herself to silently caring for him since.
‘I’ll have to give Allen something else.’
There was no guarantee that Allen would stick around with him to the end. However, Laina would be very likely to do so.
So he gave her the potion.
“Sir, this is…”
She had a surprised look on her face.
“I’ll deal with Allen’s cut separately. This is your share.”
“But… I’m only a servant…”
“No, this is your fair share. Do you think of me as a classless noble?”
At that, Laina hesitantly accepted the potion.
Gulp, gulp, gulp.
“Whoa… So this is what a good master-servant relationship does!” Anya shouted with a big smile as she watched the scene curiously.
“Let’s go home now. I think we’ve gone through almost all of the ruins in the dukedom.”
There would be a lot of work to do back at the manor, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t his to deal with.
‘Father is competent, so he can take care of it.’
As the sun set, they happily headed down the road towards the manor.
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
The fact that talent varied per person was unfair.
When did he feel that he was lacking in it?
Maybe it was when he was first introduced to magic.
Allen stared into space. His condition was horrible. His lower body was smelly and covered in dirt, and the rest of it was covered in wounds after having repeatedly collapsed and risen again and again.
His fatigued muscles had torn.
Now, his ear drums were filled with auditory hallucinations, and his body was covered in stab wounds.
He swung his sword.
Without thought. Without will.
Allen was busy reminiscing far into the past, fully forgetting what he was doing.
He remembered clearly his awareness of his inadequacies.
The sheath, which had become bumpy and dull, let out a scream.
‘It took me a week to even recognize mana for the first time.’
His younger brother had then displayed his absurd talent in front of Allen, who had been childishly proud of his achievement.
‘He recognized it after only looking at it once.’
His brother was a genius.
Throwing him into despair, he’d turned his week-long efforts into nothing. He couldn’t even try to compare himself to him. He felt the unfairness of the world for the first time.
‘It’s the same as when I got my first ring.’
While Allen had been making progress little by little, his younger brother had succeeded in making a ring around his heart less than three days later.
He was jealous at first.
It was unfair. They had both come out of the same mother’s stomach. One was not discriminated against for being the younger, nor was the other discriminated against for being the older.
However, as the successor, he did have more obligations.
But what was the result? Talent? Could something that couldn't be seen make such a big difference? Enough to show such unfairness?
‘And what about me?’
He wasn’t a genius.
Even an idiot knew that.
No matter how much grown-ups tried to distract from it, there were things that even a child could understand.
Like the looks that they would direct at his brother but not him.
Admiration, expectation, pride, wonder, awe.
‘What did I get?’
Flattery and being treated as a child.
It was natural to be jealous.
He was only a ‘child’.
For children of that age, attention was everything important in the world as well as the impetus for any acts. And so, for him, his younger brother was a monster, stealing that attention—almost an obstacle to be cleared.
He was jealous, and so he teased him. And then he was jealous again.
Julius’s responses to those actions were simple.
—Are you joking around? Hehe.
He didn’t resist. He didn’t fight back. It was only a little joke.
Unlike his older brother, who was jealous of his talent, his younger brother was mature.
Embarrassed by Julius’s reactions, he stopped the teasing. And he sincerely apologized while bowing to him, saying, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.’
Julius replied with a simple.
—You were just joking around, weren't you, Brother?
That day, Allen made up with him.
‘It was just like that.’
Julius was that kind of person. He was too good for such an undeserving older brother. No matter how monstrous of a talent he may have held, he was still his younger brother. Although they would sometimes fight, they were still brothers who would go out to play together.
His eyes began to come back into focus. The pain of the wounds of which he was not aware of began to pierce away at his body.
His arm, which had slumped in weakness, raised the sword. His eyes filled with venom. Biting his chapped lips, he clung onto his failing leg.
The feeling of the sword hilt against the broken skin on his palm stimulated his nerves. His cold heart pounded violently. In that static space, he alone lit up brightly.
Like a candle.
His sword gained speed.
“How dare you act as my brother?!”
He was engulfed in his rage. Then, he came to his senses. His heart felt as though it were gnawed away. He swallowed a terrible pain that he had never felt before in his heart.
‘Who’s to blame for this? Who did this?’
“Who are you to take my brother’s body?!”
His wounded throat spewed blood.
‘Was there nobody else? From the elves in the northwest to the dwarves in the east. Prisoners of the north and Demi-humans in the northeast. Among humans, there are both aristocrats and commoners. Out of all of those people, why?!’
“Why my little brother?!”
Was there no other choice?
Anyone else would’ve been fine. Even himself.
‘Really, anybody. So then why. Why?’
Julius became a scoundrel because of him. He would’ve lived his whole life in atonement and done his best to fix his body.
‘But who is he? Who is he to do this? Who the fuck is Kim Woojin?!’
His heart began to change. Mana spun around him, and his body trembled in the pain from his heart’s transformation.
—His words didn’t stop. He couldn’t stop.
He needed something to divert from the pain. The truth was, it grew increasingly difficult to keep holding on. His tired mind demanded surrender, and his previously strong will had faded over time.
He felt like a prisoner, enduring the torture with a sober mind.
He wished he were a hero. A standard hero who was looked up to by all and could do anything.
If he were a hero, he wouldn’t have locked himself in his room in his despair, nor would he have signed a deal with the devil.
If he were that kind of person, he would have saved his little brother a long time ago.
He moved his arms and forced his leg to take a step. He struggled, but didn’t stop, even if it meant crawling.
Allen himself couldn’t understand what he was saying anymore.
His magic storm shook around him.
White with pain, his head struck the floor.
He had to withstand it.
“Even… even if I have no talent, I have to do it.”
He wasn't talented enough.
Talent, talent, talent. His ‘lack of talent’ held him back, both in his past life and now.
‘But who gives a fuck.’
His heart—akin to a heart that had fully changed into that of a dragon's core—exuded an intimidating presence, and let out a massive burp.
The remaining dragon bones quickly crumbled into dust, and Allen stumbled a few times before standing up again.
“...Next is the giants’ remains.”
He turned his head. He knew that he was lacking, but what could he do? Give up?
His conclusion was the same now as it was in the beginning.
He spent his previous life trying to make up for his incompetency, yet his ineptitude was accompanied by plenty of human sacrifices.
Even though he regressed and a little had changed, the basis of his situation hadn’t changed.
His dragon-like heart let out a violent wave, as if it would explode.
His heart was beating. Although natural, Allen’s body stumbled around, as if about to explode from the massive amount of uncontrollable magic within his body.
Something hot bubbled up inside his bejeweled heart.
How much more could he take?
‘How many more minutes?’
That was enough.
As Allen snapped his fingers, tens of thousands of strings—incomparable to before—stretched out into the air and pulled the giants’ remains from throughout the space.
He’d planned a lot already.
The advantages and disadvantages of the Draconic System, and how he’d overcome them.
What if his body broke down from weakness?
‘I’ll be strong enough to handle it.’
What was the probability of success?
He didn’t think about it.
That wasn’t what he came here to think about.
The figure contorted quickly.
He didn’t have to think too much. He imagined a furnace; its use and its transformation. With a wild roar, the remains gathered themselves towards him.
Then ,the strings connected.
‘Can I become a weapon?’
Living things couldn’t be tempered, but iron could. Tempered iron could become a sharp blade or a durable shield. He had to do that himself.
As if it could only be made of something intangible, under a never-ending spell.
On and on.
The remains combined into forms, circling around him. Allen found himself trapped in a sphere, reminiscent of a prisoner trapped behind iron bars.
The preparations had been completed.
“A king needs a mighty sword.”
‘A sword that can cut anything.’
From within his heart, the first dragonfire bubbled up and screamed to be let out.
A dragon’s breath. A dragon’s flame.
The name may vary, but the result was the same:
Despite it hiding in his heart, he felt its unimaginable heat. The moment it sprung out of his heart, he knew what would become of his body.
Thinking about how he would change after his suffering, Allen finished up his prison sentence. As he shook his hand for the last time, the sphere began to shrink while moving towards him, scratching the floor and exerting a transcendental pressure.
A wild, yellow energy was drawn out from the ashes and swirled around him like steam.
At the same time, the dragon’s breath came out from his mouth, and he began to burn.
The dragonfire, rising from his neck, burned and regenerated his body which had been cracked and blackened like a tortoise’s shell as the yellow energy hovered around him.
A furnace made of the remains of giants and dragonfire from the dragon's core.
His body began to temper.
Allen wriggled, laughing as he felt his vision flash white from pain.
He’d had enough pain to last him a month.
The same went for pain inflicted by fire. It didn’t matter how long it lasted. He had already chosen. And since he couldn't go back, he would just keep moving forward.
The same as before.
‘I’ll have a good dream.’
He hoped that once he awoke, he would have become a mighty sword.
In the empty space, where all of the bones and ashes had disappeared, the sword in the center of the room alone watched him quietly.
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