Regressor, Possessor, Reincarnator
[Translator – Aine]
[Proofreader – yukitokata]
Rachael and Cathleen had no reason to stay any longer, so they left for home after only one night. Allen had asked Rachael to give him some time to speak with her sister before they left.
“Why did you ask for me?”
“About my brother… I’m truly sorry.”
Her eyes looked empty. She had done so much for Julius’s sake, yet the result was her getting dumped. It was logical that the shock of it all lasted more than just one day.
“Rumors may go around if we, a grown man and woman, stay alone with each other any longer, sir.”
…It seemed that she still felt bad about it.
Allen smiled a little when he’d decided that he could sway her a little.
“If you don’t have anything else to say, then…”
When she looked as if she were about to get up and leave, he threw away his pretense.
“Don’t you want to go back?”
As if insulted by his words, she trembled and looked at him with venom in her eyes.
“You need to take responsibility for what you just said. For insulting me—”
“How would you feel…”
Allen interrupted her. Her face was stained with anger, but he didn’t care.
“...If I told you that my brother may not be real?”
“What? What are you talking about…?”
Cathleen quickly turned her head around.
“If I said that a demon had possessed his body…”
He saw her eyes. Astonishment, doubt, anxiety, and a splash of hope swirled around. Those perplexed eyes, reminiscent of a flower bud yet to bloom—
“...Would you believe me?”
—Not knowing what exactly would bloom.
“Please, sit. I believe we have quite a bit to discuss.”
Her eyes darted back and forth. She looked at the door for a moment before clenching her teeth and sitting down.
“Tell me, sir. What are you talking about?”
Allen looked at her and smiled.
* * *
It wasn’t until an hour had passed that she left the drawing room. Rachael didn’t question the length of their conversation…
“Mister, tell me the truth.”
…Or so it seemed.
She whispered to him while glaring holes into him.
She seemed convinced that something had happened when her sister—who had entered the drawing room still distraught—had come out with a happy expression.
“I just told her some nonsense.”
Fortunately, Allen was relieved to have been questioned in a different way than he’d expected.
“She’s already having a hard time, so you can’t get her hopes up, okay? Like telling her that she can get back together with that bastard Julius.”
“It’s nothing like that. Just that I was sorry about his behavior and grateful for her efforts, and I asked if there was any way I could help make it up to her.”
“That’s good, but…”
She looked troubled, as if she felt something. Allen changed the subject to avoid her detection.
“Rachael, you take such good care of her. Did you say that she’ll go to the Academy?”
Luckily for him, the conversation switched without question.
“I was just thinking about that too. Honestly, I don’t know how well she’d be able to adapt, but I’ll do my best to try to help her.”
“I’m sorry, too, but… I’m afraid I won’t be able to go with you all.”
She blinked with innocent eyes and laughed.
“It’s okay. You said you’d come at some point, right?”
Allen replied with a bitter smile and backed away. Rachael couldn’t talk for long, since Cathleen was waiting in their carriage. She gave him a hug before turning around and waving.
“Well, then. I’ll see you next time!”
She made her way into the carriage. Greeting Cathleen with her eyes, she promised:
‘The next time we meet, she’ll be ready.’
Whether for herself, or for her.
* * *
After seeing Rachael off, Allen immediately left for the city. Linbelle and Inellia were to be trained by Laura—his mother’s handmaid—while he was out.
‘If Mother gets bored, she can also help with their training.’
Moreover, the knights would be busy with no time to rest while he was away since he entrusted Linbelle’s special training to them.
Allen smiled and waved his hand as Linbelle’s expression came to him.
The head of a gnoll with its teeth sticking out was crushed.
He’d taken down dozens of gnolls before they’d even come into arm’s length, and those who came into his arm’s reach were swifty decapitated.
It was a result too small to be considered an achievement that he’d accomplished decades ago in his past life.
Allen was of a rank unworthy of the strength that he’d gained by making a deal with the devil before he died. It was as if he had a disparately large ring for someone who was only Rank 1.
The reason behind which was simple.
It was because the power he received still wasn’t enough.
Allen’s target was Julius before the regression. An opponent who was literally walking in the footsteps of a hero, quelling disasters all over.
For such a person, would it be right to walk a path leading to failure once again?
An opponent that he couldn’t even face head-on?
The difference between them was vast.
It was a result obtained in a proper, yet unusual way.
‘Using elixirs and objects from ancient texts, his growth rate is embarrassingly fast compared to mine.’
Of course, unlike in his previous life, he didn’t know what would happen now. Unlike back then, Allen didn’t suffer from the side effects of magic use. If he focused on using magic again, he might produce more results.
‘When was that?’
Magic wasn’t something that could be understood by only studying. In order to see if one could use magic, one would first need to learn about a certain type of magic. Additionally, it must be similar to the type of mana that one could already perceive.
For example, in order to use flame-attributed magic, one must already have extensive knowledge of fire, and the sorcerer’s mana must already take a similar form.
This was because the forms of magic that an individual could perceive varied per person.
Allen had threads, Prindal had hot winds, Francisca had sticky darkness, and his brother…
Prindal, who perceived mana in the form of a light wind, was able to use magic in a wind system. Francisca perceived mana as a form of sticky darkness and was able to use that to create new systems of magic.
‘If Julius’s circle hadn’t been destroyed…’
What kind of magic would he have used?
Unlike Allen who could only see mana materialized in threads, Julius had said that he could recognize every form of mana in the world, as if they were made up of smaller particles.
Something Allen wasn’t able to understand fully.
He shook his head. It was too late to learn a new form of magic, anyway. So he had no choice but to do something else.
‘I need to keep up.’
In order to make progress in finding a way to save his brother while staying by his side the whole time, Allen had to be physically prepared enough to join him on his journey.
He spotted a large entrance.
* * *
Translator - Aine
Proofreader - yukitokata
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* * *
The ancient ruins of a giant.
Allen didn’t know much about it.
It was an ancient monument located between the Great Desert in the Duke’s southwestern and eastern territories and the Michellant Mountains in the northwest.
There weren’t many records of it, even from before the Golden Age of Civilization, before the ancient empire vanished into history during the Great Fall.
It was a time when dragons and giants ruled the earth, when the fantastical creatures—that were now found only in the texts of ancient books—were many.
The one thing that Allen knew was that it was here that Julius had found ‘that’ sword. And after that bastard acquired that sword…
‘He began to improve at an incredible pace.’
Additionally, the remains of many dragons and giants were buried underground there. Allen thought of seeking out an ancient technique, deemed impossible by most, using those remains.
His reasoning for choosing the sword was also simple.
‘Up until he found the sword, Julius’s growth rate was significantly slower.’
Allen remembered. The way that he grew so quickly… No, the way he improved so rapidly that it seemed as if he had teleported through time.
Although his ability to manipulate magic advanced quickly, his swordsmanship skills were average.
In fact, magic ability was passed down throughout the Reinhart family. Compared to other aristocratic families, the Reinhart family appeared to be at a lower level in terms of swordsmanship.
However, Julius obtained ‘that’ sword and showed tremendous growth, as if spiting Allen.
If it were something to do with the sword, then it must have some ability to compensate for physical weakness. Or maybe he needed to come to this site specifically to use some secret skill.
Allen could have a chance to weaken his opponent now, so why wouldn’t he go in?
The entrance to the ruins was concealed in darkness.
‘How long has this been left undiscovered?’
It didn’t matter.
It would never be discovered again after this.
Allen stepped in without hesitation. The inside of the ruins were quiet and dark. There weren’t any wild animals in sight. The monsters that had been attacking him before entering the ruins had disappeared at some point. The walls were covered in murals that faded over time, and small bugs decorated the halls, flying away in surprise at his approach.
How far had he gone along that lamp-lit path?
Step, step, step…
“Is it here…?”
There was a giant cavity right ahead of him. It was filled with pitch-black darkness, exuding a feeling of silent, lonely gloominess.
Introducing light into the space, he revealed the remains of numerous giants and dragons. The shadows brought about by the lamp light stretched and contorted, as if welcoming him.
A dragon with a cracked skull, a giant with two severed arms, a dragon leaning against the wall, and a giant kneeling on the ground. The numerous bodies intertwined with each other, creating an elegant composition. And in the center of those messy remains laid not a pillar, but…
“Is that the sword?”
The giant sword, reminiscent of a classical pillar, bloomed in the center of the chamber.
However, rather than approaching the sword, Allen sat near it on the ground.
“I don’t know how long it will take, but…”
A month would be enough.
The ring around his heart began to spin rapidly. Threads furiously sprang out into the space around him, hovering.
One of the questions that sorcerers often asked was ‘Since when has the Circle Magic System existed?’
Why did sorcerers have rings around their hearts? Was there any other way?
There were countless ways to store mana in the body and use it. Aristocrats could come to acquire and use their own styles, and wealthier mercenaries could get access to more secret techniques.
Even so, why was there a unified system for magic?
Many sorcerers with a ring around their heart had thought of such a question. The answer to which was, of course…
‘There is one.’
A different way.
What Allen was about to do came from one of many forgotten styles.
‘The Draconic Magic System.’
A system of magic born from the curiosity of why a sorcerer could use a dragon’s magic if they turned the dragon heart into a jewel.
Turning their heart—their magical core through which their energy flowed—into a solidified gem.
The necessary materials were few. Just jewelry or another medium with high magic conductivity. The more, the better.
This method was overwhelmingly simple. The starting point was similar to the Circle Magic System—creating a ring around the heart.
However, after that…
‘You don’t increase the number of rings.’
This method wouldn’t circulate mana throughout the body. It would just steadily increase the size of that one ring. And if a sorcerer continued growing a ring like so…
Allen’s ring shook. He heard something crack in his ear.
The mana flowing out from the broken ring would circulate around its caster, forming a sort of magic storm. Then, if the chosen medium was destroyed and collected by the resulting storm and absorbed into the body…
‘I’ll do it.’
However, the outcome for those choosing this route wasn’t typically good. Obviously.
Artificially damaging the heart, that ever-important organ.
It wasn’t easy to maintain a large ring, and the quality of the chosen medium was of the utmost importance as well.
If one wished to use a dragon core, they would need dragon bones and the bodies of other fantastical creatures as well as conductors for those materials—like orichalcum.
And even if the process were successful, the body often couldn’t withstand the work forced onto the heart. In many cases, the caster’s body would burst or perish from the tremendous pain accompanying the process.
It was clearly an impossible task.
His ring shook again, a crack forming on it.
His ring—his life as a sorcerer—began to fracture.
He felt fear.
Not from the fact that failure here would mean death, but that he could miss the opportunity he was granted.
Yet, now that he’d come all this way…
‘I already knew it.’
Even though he had been preparing for this moment since his regression. Even though he’d already realized that magic alone was not enough.
He wanted to quit.
At that very moment, he was still unsure.
Was it really necessary to use such a risky method? Hadn’t the chimera sorcerer warned him already that he was pursuing the impossible?
The chimera sorcerer would have known more than him about all this. His words must have been more rational than his own, regardless of whether it were a lie or not.
What about looking for another way, then? Wouldn't it be better to just continue using the Circle Magic System and go to the Academy to learn new things?
Then he could break through to Rank 5 or Rank 6, maybe even Rank 7.
Thoughts, addressed to him, arose.
—I got my hands on this new grimoire…
He heard his little brother’s voice.
His ring shook.
His one and only brother.
The brother whose circle was broken because of him.
The brother who had turned into a scoundrel, who he had sworn to save.
Wasn’t he eager to save that very same brother?
Was it easier for him to just forget about it and return to the comfortable path?
He couldn’t do that.
How could he give up now after all that he had been through? Was that all he was determined to do? Could Allen really just avoid Julius as the younger brother waited for him?
Was he going to give up if he wasn’t gifted a chance on a silver platter?
How long would he keep saying that he couldn’t do it because it was ‘impossible’ or ‘scary’ or ‘hard’?
‘I know I’m not good enough…’
He wanted to save his brother, so he sacrificed countless citizens to reach that goal.
Now that he’d gotten to try again, did he think that it was all just a thing of the past?
‘No. I felt it in the chimera workshop.’
There was a way to trail him. A way to follow after him existed, right here and now.
‘How could I…’
‘...give up on him?’
His body began to tremble from the tremendous pain as his eyes began to bleed.
Allen chuckled. He found his consciousness from the metallic smell arising from the blood of his bitten lips.
The cracks within his ring vanished, yet they shook as if shattered. Mana began to build up within the remaining space.
He made up his mind.
He ignored the fear.
He’d had plenty of time to come here before going to Hibelle, yet he did not go.
No, it was right to have ignored it at the time. Before dealing with the chimera sorcerer and seeing all the slaughtered citizens, had he been faithful to them? Was he noble?
He became keenly aware of it. He had to face his own contradictions. He had abandoned those people in order to utilize his flimsy knowledge of the past.
How was he any different from that bastard?
Then what should he do to make up for it? Lock himself up in that room again? Just like back then?
Then, an answer came to him.
—I won’t run.
A massive roar echoed inside his head, and his ring shattered.
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