Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
I saw families smiling happily.
Rather than a cold, stiff face, a father was wearing a natural smile. A mother was smiling with kind eyes. A younger brother with a bright smile, chattering away.
‘A real, not fake, younger brother… Really? What the fuck are you going on about? My brother is my brother.
‘No, is he not really my brother? What the fu—’
The scenery turned upside down.
“What are you doing? Hurry up. You're gonna get in trouble if you get caught.”
When I turned my head, I saw my sullen younger brother.
That’s right, I was playing chess with my younger brother. We have to finish the game quickly.
If Mom found out, she’d never let it go.
“Mom thinks we’re studying right now. Hurry up, Brother.”
“Wait a second.”
“Why? Do you think you’re going to lose? I told you I was gonna take your queen and your knight.”
‘Bullshit. Me? Lose?’
I tried to move his horse to show my dignity as the eldest, but…
I felt my eyes moving around the board. All the pieces I had left were four pawns, one bishop, and one rook.
The king was just barely holding on.
But my brother?
Only one knight and three pawns had been taken down, all the rest still standing.
‘What am I going to do? Embrace the shame and flip the table? That would be better than losing to him, right?’
“Brother, hurry up, please.”
His voice was different.
It wasn’t the voice of a child, but one much thicker.
A chubby boy with blue hair. He smiled brightly at me as I looked at him.
“Brother? Are you giving up?”
I felt my hands shaking. When I looked down, I saw a mature body.
‘Brother? Where did you go? Why are you here?’
My eyes turned cold, and I found a sword tightly gripped in my hand. I had never seen such an antique sword like it.
The sword in my hand suddenly struck the face of the mysterious man.
His mouth didn’t stop moving.
“Brother? Brother? Brother? Brother? Brother? Brother? Brother?”
‘It wasn’t enough. More. It needs to hurt even more. Maybe even another—’
The world was spinning.
‘No, was I the one spinning? No, what does that even mean? Where’s my brother? And where’s that sword? I need to kill him now. I need to save my brother.’
[You can stop now. Sheesh. I’m sorry I’m late.]
Someone was patting my head. It felt like warm sunshine enveloping my body. I felt relieved at the warm words.
‘No, not yet. I shouldn’t feel relieved. I shouldn’t feel relaxed…’
[You’ve gone through a lot. For today at least, sleep tight.]
My eyes were closing.
‘I need to suffer a little more… I…’
* * *
Allen came to his senses, realizing his pain had faded at some point.
He didn’t feel the transcendental pressure that had been concentrated on his body, and the dragon's flame that had burned his entire body had been extinguished.
He felt his skin cool from the wind that came in through the cracks in the broken remains.
He opened his eyes. He felt refreshed, unlike usual.
“What kind of dream was I having…?”
He couldn’t remember. The dream had quickly faded into nothing.
He examined his body nervously.
“...Did it succeed?”
He felt a strong energy rising in his body. His heart pounded as if it were going to explode then calmed down, releasing some strength. When he sent some of that strength to clench his fist, he felt an unimaginable force.
Allen, recalling the chimera sorcerer who couldn’t handle his body properly, moved cautiously.
Or more precisely, he tried to move.
“If I use just a little bit of strength…”
The foot he’d moved to step onto the floor sounded as though it would break the ground. Allen broke into a cold sweat. It was beyond his imagination. Even his steps, taken with the utmost care, carried unimaginable power.
It was going to take a lot of work to move his body smoothly.
He couldn’t even imagine his body from before. Having gained this amount of strength would be more than enough in exchange for the crazy amount of pain he’d just endured.
‘I never want to feel that pain again, but…’
It would be even more ridiculous if there were no cost to acquire such power.
He was overflowing with magic.
The magic—that had been concentrated only in the heart before—was now circulating around his body, and it seemed as though it could shield him from any cuts.
His muscles felt different. With just a little force, he swung his fist, smashing the giant bones surrounding him. In one light leap, he instantly flew across the space.
He couldn't control his speed and hit the wall, but Allen laughed and rose out of the heap of rubble in which he’d been buried. He was stunned at his growth.
What would’ve happened if it were his body from before?
His bones surely would’ve broken.
Allen then conducted various experiments for the following two hours.
What was the limit for his magic output? How much strength did he have? And how destructive could that be? Compared to his previous body, how much magic could he use on a regular basis?
There were an infinite number of things to find out. And the more Allen destroyed the ruins, the wider his mouth gaped.
He moved his body as he laughed loudly—very uncommon for him.
“Is this what life is like for superheroes? It’s hard to even put into words.”
Super vision, super speed, agility, super strength. All of it was like the power of a giant, the masters ruling over the era, like dragons had in ancient times.
And what about his heart?
“Is my ‘everyday output’ similar to my maximum power?”
The quietly beating heart had a slightly higher output than Allen’s single ring at full force. In addition, the more threads ejected from his heart, the wider his detection range becomes, flooding information into his head.
It was a shame that he didn’t inherit the dragons’ ability to control every kind of magic like he’d read in history books, but…
‘The sorcerer who established the Draconic Magic System didn’t see it to completion either.’
Sorcerers were yet to succeed in mastering the Draconic Magic System, so nobody knew of definitive ways to improve themselves. However, the shortcomings could improve themselves, so it didn’t really matter.
Because he was sure that with his new rapid growth, that bastard would be second to him.
‘Can I not use dragonfire anymore?’
He wasn’t sure if the first burst of fire was the last one, but he couldn’t feel boiling in his heart anymore.
He was disappointed that he couldn’t use it as a weapon.
Feeling as though he’d done enough experimenting, Allen lowered his head.
“My clothes… didn’t hold out,” he murmured with a bitter smile. All of his clothing—including the sword he’d taken with him—had burned away, leaving him naked without even a single thread.
He also saw that parts of the space had broken and were dug up.
However, not a single wound was found on his body.
He turned to look at the center of the space.
A giant’s sword the size of a castle tower.
While experimenting with his new body, he’d turned the cavity into a mess. Yet the one part of the space without damage was its center.
He had avoided it just in case.
As he got closer, he became more and more aware of its overwhelming size.
“...I have no idea how anyone could’ve used this before.”
‘Did Julius melt it down and remake it? That doesn’t seem very likely. Maybe it was a sword that varied in size according to its user. Such things exist, although uncommon.’
Allen hugged the sword, not using any magic so he could measure the sheer strength of his body.
As the years passed, it could only feel the dullness of the day.
He used his legs. Squeezed it as if trying to break it. He set his back straight up as his muscles twitched and sublimated into force.
‘Since giants used to use it, I’m sure it can withstand this much force.’
However, it still could break.
The sword shook.
Allen’s flushed face mixed with embarrassment.
‘Was this much force not enough?’
He admitted to himself that he’d underestimated the giants.
After all, how could the masters of that era—the ones who ruled over fairies and other legendary races—be weaker than himself?
He took a moment to recognize that thought before giving it all his might.
He was beginning to pull the sword out, little by little. However, Allen was carrying such a heavy load that he couldn’t even speak.
‘How much time has passed?’
It wasn't until Allen had been covered with sweat that he was able to draw the sword.
‘What a crazy weight.’
When he released the sword from the floor, it unleashed a loud roar and produced quite a load of debris onto the floor.
‘Someone once fought with this?’
His muscles twitched like crazy.
‘Was this still too much? The records had said that it should’ve been enough, though. No, it didn’t make sense that I couldn’t lift a giant’s sword.’
“Wasn’t this technique supposed to be perfect?”
While he was busy worrying about his body, he heard a voice.
⟬Oh, thank you for taking me from this stuffy place! You have no idea how frustrating it was to not have been able to speak.⟭
That same, bright, high-pitched voice.
He got up right away. His expression hardened. In an instant, he sensed around the entire space, but he felt nobody.
⟬Where are you looking? Here! I’m over here! Right in front of you!⟭
His eyes immediately turned towards the sword.
It must’ve just been from when he pulled the sword out of the ground.
Allen calmly assessed the situation, hiding his embarrassment.
‘Was the Ego Sword the driving force behind his rapid growth?’
“Who are you?”
⟬Now you’re looking in the right direction! My name is Vestla. As you can see, I’m a sword! What’s your name?⟭
‘Did the sword just introduce itself? She’s not wrong, but…’
Allen wasn’t dumb enough to believe that a sword would greet him with pure intentions here. However, he needed to identify it.
‘Wasn’t it an Ego Sword?’
He responded by wearing a surprised expression.
⟬Ah, that’s right. This isn’t the most comfortable for you, is it?⟭
Before she cut him off, she let out a short, strange, loud battle cry.
Allen frowned at first but then widened his eyes at what happened next.
The sword shrank.
The giant sword reduced itself to be much smaller, into a sword much more suitable for him to use.
The sword rose and approached him.
Allen prepared to strain his muscles as he raised his arm in fear. However, contrary to his expectations, he didn’t need to.
The sword was cool to the touch. He thought it would feel rough, but it stuck right to his hand.
⟬Aren’t I pretty? Ehem.⟭
“You’re definitely a good sword…”
It was light, as if the weight he’d felt earlier was a lie.
The sword boasted its weight in his hand, feeling like only a branch. The handle was filled with beautiful antique patterns, and the blade was engraved with characters he couldn't read.
⟬Yes. It’s easier to talk now, right?⟭
Her words—which had been ringing in his head until he held the sword—were now clear, as if they were being spoken right into his ear.
⟬Isn’t it so polite of me that I’m wearing a mask? Come on, now! Talk to me! What’s your name?⟭
“...My name is Allen. Allen Reinhart.”
⟬Nice to meet you, Allen. Did you know I got in trouble because I wanted to talk to you?⟭
Allen quickly figured out what it was that she might’ve been curious about. Perhaps about how the times had changed, how much time had passed, and what life was like outside the ruins…
⟬Yes! You’re super crazy, aren’t you?⟭
He stopped his train of thought and asked again blankly.
As she wiggled her handle, she shouted, ⟬When you first started breaking all those dragon bones, I was bored, so I started rooting for you. Because those lizard bitches were out to get me too.⟭
⟬But, back to crazy, I think it’s been a month or so? That you’ve been really crazy?⟭
Before she’d even realized it, she’d given up her manners and started shouting emphatically.
⟬No, that’s enough of that. Why did you break the giants’ bones? I was going to say something, y’know? But I held it in because I’m nice!⟭
From what she’d said, it sounded as if she antagonized the dragons. She seemed to care about the giants’ bones, however, so he guessed that she really was once the weapon of giants.
‘The real giant was in that sword.’
Allen chuckled at that groundless thought.
‘Is it even possible to put a living being inside a sword?’
If it were possible, and that was what had happened, it would mean that she would’ve been locked up here alone for hundreds of thousands of years.
And if so, he could understand why her personality was the way it was.
“...So, is that all you wanted to say?”
He had no reason to sympathize. Technically, he had nothing to do with it. He had no intention of trusting her until he could be convinced that he could grow as fast as Julius had before the regression.
⟬No? There’s more. Do you know how long it’s been? I was goin’ crazy. Ah, that’s right. What’s that book?⟭
Allen hesitated. He prayed that his expression hadn’t changed. Because that question just now had drawn his interest.
“...Book? What book are you talking about? As you can see, there’s nothing here.”
It was something he’d discovered shortly after his regression. But his reaction now was slow because, until now, nobody but him had recognized the existence of the book. He’d never imagined that it would be mentioned by an Ego Sword that nobody even knew existed.
“What book are you talking about?”
⟬You don’t see it? It’s right next to you, isn’t it?⟭
“One is a book with a white cover, and two are older, faded books, right?”
“...You can really see them?”
⟬Yes, I can!⟭
Allen’s expression was painfully stiff.
‘Weren’t these books something that only I could read? But other people could see it? Or is this sword an exception? What happened?’
Allen was lost in thought. So much so that he was oblivious to the sword leaving his hand.
Vestla, unhappy with his silence, came closer to the book in his hand, and spat out, ⟬What are you muttering to yourself about? Am I not allowed to read the book? I can read it.⟭
“No, it’s—What did you say?”
Allen confirmed if what he’d just heard was correct.
⟬Can I read it just once? Hm… What about just one of them? Floating books… The world really has advanced a lot.⟭
Whether it was a floating book or a floating sword, they were all the same to Allen.
‘She could read its contents? No, was there even a title on the book in the first place?’
As far as he could remember, there wasn’t ever a title written on the book cover.
“You can read it? Wait, can you really read it? What’s the title? Can you read the back too? What language is it? Are there any restrictions?”
These books were the only proof of Allen’s regression. And this meant that there must be clues here about that regression.
⟬Ask one thing at a time! I’m not going anywhere, am I? Why are you in such a rush?⟭
Allen couldn’t believe her slowly spoken words, so he asked again, “Can… Can you say it again? Please?”
‘No, it couldn’t be, that was crazy.’
His heart, previously beating peacefully, was pounding out of his chest. His head turned dizzy from hearing that unanticipated truth.
⟬I’ll still do it even if you don’t rush me. You should be thankful to meet such a pretty, nice sword like me.⟭
“Thank you. Thank you very much. Alright?”
Even though he knew she was suspicious, he couldn’t help but ask questions.
After all, it was shocking.
⟬I’ll give you the white book’s name first. Its name is…⟭
That was the title of the book that had been with him since his regression.
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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