Descent of the Legendary Archmage
[Translator – Nya]
[Proofreader – Karane]
Tradition is forgotten under the name of convenience.
Truthfully speaking, this is an obvious fact.
With the development of technology, old and inconvenient things are inevitably reduced, little by little.
Just as how mobile phones, that were as heavy as bricks, became smartphones and how steam trains were developed to become the KTX. Things that were great in the past soon become obsolete and disappear. One can say that this is the obvious way of the world.
"The 21st century. Magic has made revolutionary advancements. Of course, there are no students here who don't know that, right?"
Magic is the same.
"Come on, Instructor! Obviously everyone who’s been enrolled at this school knows that."
The first archmage was the one who first defined the existence of mana and created the study of magic. The magic he created may have been revolutionary and at the time a ground breaking technology.
However that is not the case anymore.
"The development of artificial intelligence that supports magic is a turning point in sorcery."
Using magic in this order was common sense until about a 100 years ago.
What do you think? Can’t you tell it’s complicated just by listening to it?
"Yes. That's right. The 21st century. As technology develops, the technology of artificial intelligence is also developed, and as a result, new horizons of magic were explored.”
Of course, all this is just common sense from 100 years ago.
“The development of artificial intelligence has led to the shortening of magic formulas and the more elaborate the magic formula, the stronger the power. Needless to say, it got simpler.”
The magic of present times consists of just collection and manifestation.These are the only two steps required. The caster simply needs to collect the mana.
Then, the artificial intelligence automatically adjusts the magic formula and completes the magic.
Finally, it ends with the caster shooting the magic at will.
This is modern magic.
How is it? Isn't it convenient?"
“Oh dear, I’ve gone off on a tangent. First off, before I introduce myself, I would like to say congratulations. Congratulations, you are the elite of the elite, the top 1% of the world's population.
Of course, just because the magic system has been simplified doesn't mean anyone can use it.
Magic still remains as the exclusive gift for those who were chosen and blessed with talent.
One must have an affinity for mana.
One must be able to absorb mana.
And one must be able to release that mana to the outside.
And so on.
Only 1% of the population satisfies all the conditions to become a mage.
“Having an easy life really is the best.”
“I’m happy that I was born with a mana spoon in my mouth.”
The sound of laughter echoed throughout the classroom.
This is a word derived from the phrase “golden spoon” and is a name for people who are able to feel mana from birth.
"As long as you can graduate from this school, you’ll all have promising futures. And most likely will be on the road to success."
This may be obvious but in this world mages are high quality human resources.
Of course mages are helpful in battle, but they also provide a huge assistance in everyday lives.
And that is the modern mage.
And the school that we’ve entered is of the highest class even among all the other schools that train mages.
It is one of the top ten most prestigious academies in the world.
Just as the instructor said, if you are able to graduate from this school, you will succeed in life.
And I was one of those elites who belonged in that 1%.
I ‘was’ one of those elites.
“Instructor! Are you sure you can make such confident remarks?”
"It seems like you have forgotten that we have Shin Hayul in this class!"
Once again, laughter could be heard from all sides.
A jeer full of ridicule that was completely different from the one that could be heard a moment ago.
At the same time, all eyes turned to focus on me.
“Shin Hayul is so pitiful."
“How could the possessor of the greatest magical talent of all time plummet to rock bottom in an instant like that?”
At the very least I’m better than him. Eyes glistening with a sense of superiority. Eyes of pity and sympathy. And eyes full of joy that were pleased with my fall. Their raw emotions that could be plainly seen through their pupils pierce right through me.
“Who could have known that the prodigy of the Magic Shin Clan,Shin Hayul, is incompatible with artificial intelligence."
"You're a mage who can't handle artificial intelligence. Kekeke."
As I said before, the magic of this world has made revolutionary progress.
However, not everyone can benefit from this innovative technology.
Just as how only 1% of the population have mana. Artificial intelligence, the hero of modern magic, has occurrences of some who are unfit for it.
“Fate is so cruel. How could that prodigious Shin Hayul be within that 0.00002%?”
I’m someone who belongs to that small proportion of people who are incompatible.
"Wow, the more I think about it, the more pitiful I am."
Despite having the greatest talent of all time, I’m an inadequate person who failed to be chosen by modern technology, and the only defective product of the Magic Shin Clan
That is the public evaluation of me, Shin Hayul.
But who would have known that being incompatible was actually a blessing in disguise.
At the time, when I was fixated on suppressing my anger, I myself didn't know.
1 year later.
Until I had met that book.
I would never have guessed it even in my wildest dreams.
* * *
[Translator - Nya]
[Proofreader - Karane]
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* * *
A Noble family of mages in Korea, famous for continuously producing outstanding mages one after another.
The Magic Shin Clan
I was born as the youngest of three sons and two daughters in that family.
I was called a prodigy after I started to play with mana when I was 4, used magic for the first time when I was 7, was able to double cast when I was 10 and at the age of 15, I succeeded in triple casting, and my reputation kept on growing.
“Now, at the age of 17, all you have to do is to synchronize with artificial intelligence,”
“You really are my son, finally a mage who will command the world has appeared in our family.”
Of course, the expectations of the family also increased day by day.
It was to the point that despite being the youngest, I could hear people here and there saying that I was in fact the next head of the Magic Shin Clan.
“If I could do as I pleased, I would have him synchronize with the artificial intelligence right now.”
“Honey, be patient. If you synchronize with artificial intelligence before the age of 17, when your personality hasn’t been properly formed yet, all kinds of unknown side effects may arise. You already know this.”
“I’m just saying it since it’s such a shame.”
It would not be an exaggeration to say that my 17 years of life existed solely for the sake of magic.
Sometimes the expectations around me were heavy, but it didn't matter much.
Because I really liked learning magic in the first place.
Doing what I love and receiving compliments from those around me.
Could there be anything better than this?
I thought to myself that I would continue to walk on the path of magic just like this and become the best mage in the world.
At the high school entrance ceremony my dreams were smashed to pieces.
“Aaaah! My, my head! Aaaaaaaah!”
Right after the entrance ceremony.
The day of the artificial intelligence awarding ceremony.
I passed out with a terrible headache.
“Student Shin Hayul is incompatible with AI and unable to synchronize with it.”
“It’s a peculiar constitution that only applies to 0.00002% of the world, but could it be that student Shin Hayul is...”
I found out that I had a peculiar physical constitution that was unable to acquire artificial intelligence.
It felt as if my world had collapsed.
What had my life been for? Were my 17 years of existence all meaningless?
All sorts of negative thoughts filled my head.
It didn't take long for my father's hopeful expectations to turn into disgust.
From the start, the growth of the family was everything for my father.
With the fall of me, a genius, all kinds of ridicule poured out towards the family, and so my father had no reason to view me in an affectionate way.
“I always knew from the start that you’d be like this.”
“I knew it. Why did you think you could aim for the family head as the youngest?”
My siblings, who were all inwardly jealous, reproached me as if my fall was deserved.
“Look over there. It’s Shin Hayul.”
“The defective genius?”
“Hey, he’ll hear us.”
I was admitted to the magic school I had always dreamed of, but there was nothing but despair waiting for me. Everyone cussed me behind my back and showed pity whilst looking down on me.
A year passed like that.
“You did a great job for the past year.”
“Congratulations on moving up a year.”
“Wow. Even Shin Hayul somehow managed to move up?”
Despite a year passing, I’m still being disrespected by everyone.
“Keke. It’s Shin Hayul’s turn next.”
“I wonder how many points he’ll get?”
“Do you want to bet? I’m betting that he’ll get below the standard.”
It’s natural that they would look down on me like this.
They must be happy.
Because I was someone who was praised as a genius for over 10 years, my fall was bound to taste sweet to others.
Especially since we were all of the same age, they would have been constantly compared to me in their respective families, and so my fall would have tasted even sweeter.
I can understand it.
I understand it all.
“Hey, I’m against going first. Anyone can see that he’ll get below standard.”
“We should bet on how much lower than the standard he gets.”
...Although I can understand it, I can’t help feeling like rubbish.
“Next. Shin Hayul.”
While I was in the process of suppressing my anger, the instructor called on me.
I shouldn’t be focused on my anger.
Right now I’m doing the practical training.
I shook off the negative emotions as much as I could.
“You saw the other students in front do it, so I don’t need to explain it in any detail, right?”
The instructor checked my information on the tablet.
“Second year, Shin Hayul. I’ll start the practical exercise required for the unofficial magic ranking total.”
With the instructor's words, a countdown appeared in the center of the exam hall.
As soon as the start notification sounded, I moved my mana according to the non-AI assisted, 8-step magic activation.
* * *
[Shin Hayul, a second-year student belonging to the Korean mage training school, the Obelisk Academy]
After the practical training, I sat on the dorm bed and checked my report card.
[The power of magic is acceptable, but the speed of magic activation is close to the worst.
Even compared to the magic of the newly enrolled freshmen, it is more than 27 times slower.]
[Despite this, it’s not like the magic power is excellent either. When you take the preparation time into account, the power is insignificant. It’s as if I’m looking at a broken faucet.]
[Overall review: Your magic skills are so miserable that it’s hard to believe that you’re in your second year.]
I can only sigh.
Each and every line shakes me to the core.
It feels like I’ve had my skull smashed in with an iron club made of facts.
[Comprehensive evaluation: below standard]
[Unable to Evaluate]
[P.S. It is recommended that you find another path to take.]
The last sentence that was written with a pen felt as if it had dug my heart out.
“Even I know. That I’m not good enough...”
Incompatible with artificial intelligence.
Because the magic formula is unable to be shortened any further, my casting time is bound to be noticeably slower than the others and because of the lack of support from artificial intelligence, the magic formula is unrefined, and so the magic power is bound to be reduced.
Therefore, receiving such an evaluation is to be expected.
Even from home, I keep getting calls telling me to give up and come back.
That I should stop bringing shame to the family and quietly come back.
This is what my father said to me.
He additionally asked if I was not satisfied after messing around for a year.
It wasn’t just my father.
Everyone was urging me to give up.
Even if you had the talent for magic what can you do?
When the most important thing is missing.
Why is the defective product who can’t win against modern magic struggling so hard?
You haven't made any progress in a year, so what more do you expect than this?
From their perspective, it is natural for them to say so.
“I didn't stagnate.”
Even if I don’t know anything else, I know that I’ve made progress.
I’m definitely improving.
A year ago, I managed to cast magic that usually took 10 seconds in just 8 seconds.
As a result, the magic formula became more stable and the power increased.
Because of this even whilst double casting, the magic formula did not waver.
My magic did not stagnate.
To those who have received the help of artificial intelligence, it may not seem like it is any different.
However, little by little I am improving.
“I’m not giving up.”
I haven't stagnated, but I can't give up.
I will definitely become a mage.
In order to show off to those who looked down on me.
In order to achieve my old dream of reaching the end of magic.
I will never give up.
And like that, I gathered all my willpower and put my report card back.
After taking a few deep breaths to relax my mind that was a mess, I got up.
“Let’s just do some training.”
There was no time to feel sorry for myself.
Even in times of self pity, I must refine my magic formula, even if it’s just by a little.
There’s a rule that states that if you’re lacking, you have to work that much harder in order to compensate for it.
“Nice timing, since I’ve bought some new textbooks.
Let’s start again with a new feeling!
I pumped myself up and took out the newly purchased books.
These are the books I bought at the ancient bookstore containing only old texts.
Since I’m a person who is incompatible with modern magic, textbooks or popular reference books provided by the school are of no use to me.
Therefore, I had no choice but to purchase books that had recorded the old magic system from ancient book stores and teach myself.
“What should I start with?”
I held the ancient books in my hand one by one and looked over the covers.
Which one would be the most beneficial?
That was when a book suddenly caught my eye.
Among all the books over 100 years old, this red book was the only book that was intact.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s a hardback but it’s very luxurious.
“Did I buy a book like this?”
I don’t remember buying such a book.
Whilst I was buying the books did I accidently buy this one as well?
As I was looking all over the book, the title caught my eye.
In addition to bad handwriting it was written in an ancient language so it was quite difficult to read, but it wasn't to the extent that it couldn’t be read at all.
“Ray Vell Bytenor?”
The title of the book was quite ordinary compared to its unusual appearance.
The first archmage of humanity, Ray Vell Bytenor.
“Long time no see.”
This book is a kind of mythical autobiography that records the story of the hero.
There is not a single aspiring mage who has not read this book.
Of course I’ve read it as well.
I’ve only read it as an e-book though, and not as a physical copy.
“Is this like a first edition?”
With that in mind, it was time to open the book properly.
A light emanated from the book.
Suddenly my head was spinning.
A piercing pain, as if someone was personally stabbing my brain.
Immediately after that.
“To my successor who has the same constitution as me and can hear this voice, I, Ray Vell Bytenor, shall leave this book for you.”
The voice which I’d never heard before in my life, was transmitted straight into my head.
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