Descent of the Legendary Archmage
[Translator – Nya]
[Proofreader – Karane]
I spent the entire night focused only on reading Eadred's grimoire and before I knew it, it was already morning.
"...Ah, there’s no next page?"
The next few pages were all blank.
Although I want to read more, I'm unable to.
Could there be anything sadder than this?
In order to read past page 31, you must have 3-circles.
[If you have fully reached the stage known as 'resonance', turn to page 210, and place your palm on it, moving your mana according to its principles.]
[That is the page of the second test]
[If by chance your resonance is insufficient in the slightest, the page of the second test will not work, so please be careful.]
And in order to achieve 3-circles, my resonance, which is the mark of one who has mastered the 2nd circle, must be refined to its limit.
“I wonder how long it'll take.”
If I had it my way, I would have started the second test right this very instant.
Though unfortunately, right now I have not mastered resonance.
No, forget mastered, I've been grasping at straws this entire time.
'Connecting the circle of deliberation and the circle of resonance so that they are codependent on one another...'
The theory has definitely been drilled into my brain, but I can't seem to connect all the dots.
It feels like someone's placed two different engines in front of me and told me to combine them.
I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
'This looks like it would require a serious data investigation.'
Since the theories feel a bit vague to me, I think I should properly investigate this.
I'll have to take a rummage through the library.
'Oh, I should go to my part-time job first.'
The current time is 11:00 AM.
It's time to go to my part-time job.
Upon returning to the Magic Shin Clan, all my financial pressures had been taken off my shoulders so there was no real reason to work part-time.
But, I couldn't just quit on such short notice.
I had to take responsibility for that much.
'And I can give my final goodbyes as well.'
For the last time, I left the dorm room and headed off to my part-time work.
* * *
“Then see you next time!”
“Bye, Hayul~ Make sure to work hard at school~"
“Yes. I’ll come to visit sometime.”
I had just finished my final part-time shift and was on my way home after sharing a late-night meal with my senior colleagues.
As I walked on, feeling the cool breeze of the early May, I encountered someone unexpected in front of a convenience store near the dormitory.
Perhaps she had stopped by the convenience store for a moment.
She was holding a plastic bag with the characters CS24* printed on it. *(T/n: Parody of the Korean convenience store chain GS25.)
Adella bowed her head.
"Have you had supper?"
"No, not yet. I forgot about dinner and so wasn't able to eat..."
"I see. You were so busy focusing on your magic studies that you weren't able to find the chance to eat."
Adella blushed in embarrassment.
"I often forget too."
"Mhm. Sometimes when I find a decent ancient text, I'll be so engrossed in it that I won't even notice the time flying right by, and before I know it, it'll already be dawn."
“I see, I see.”
Adella nodded as if she truly understood.
“But you're not that bad. If I miss dinner, I'll just skip it because it’s too much of a hassle.”
Since you're not allowed to order food to the dormitory, if you want to have dinner late at night, your only option is to leave and go to the convenience store.
I usually skip dinner because I can't be bothered to leave.
...And also I didn't want to waste money on food either.
“You shouldn't do that. You must take care of all your meals."
“If you don’t eat, your brain will rust, your muscles won’t grow, and you'll have nutrition problems, something that should be avoided at all costs, especially during your teenage years.”
It's not a good idea to skip too many meals, especially as a teenager.
And although what she's saying is all true...
''Pot calling the kettle black much?"
It's not something I want to hear from someone holding a plastic bag full of convenience store food at 10 o'clock.
“Well no matter how late, at least I always take care of my meals.”
"...That's not something to be proud of."
For both of us.
Adella lightly laughed as well, as I said that with a smirk.
“Would you like one?”
She took a carton of banana milk out of her bag and handed it to me.
Adella took out another carton of banana milk and put a straw through it.
And as she did that, she slowly began to drink, savouring its taste.
She appeared to be very happy.
"Is this still all you're drinking?"
''Yes. I'm telling you that it’s the best drink ever created by man.”
"Is this milk really all that great?"
Though I won't deny that it's delicious.
I also put in my straw and enjoyed the unique taste of artificial sweeteners.
“Did you stay at the dormitory for the weekends?”
"Yes. I wanted to take a look through the mid-term comprehensive evaluation videos and I also had a lot to do."
"You sure it had nothing to do with what people were saying back home?"
“Well, there's that too.”
As I have known Adella since childhood, I know what Adella's parents are like.
They were sure to have nagged at her a lot for losing to me in the round of 16.
And Adella didn't want to have to deal with that, so she stayed at the dorm.
"I heard that... you went back home.”
"Yeah. I stopped by for a bit yesterday.”
“Are you going to return to the Magic Shin Clan again?”
“I already have.”
Adella's eyebrows rose very slightly.
As to whether she was raising her eyebrows in surprise or in joy, I had no idea.
Since unless it has to do with magic, her expression is always the same.
"...It's a relief."
‘‘It is. Since I would probably have needed a bunch of money for the second year, I was a bit worried about what to do.”
Starting from the 2nd year, the intensity of the practical training increased, so I needed a huge amount of money to cover the cost of textbooks and equipment.
It's certainly not an amount I can afford to pay with just my part-time job.
You don't understand how much of a burden this takes off my shoulders.
"Your dream... Is it still to become the head of the Magic Shin Clan?"
“What's this about, out of the blue?”
"No, I was... just curious. I was reminded of what you said in the past."
What I had said in the past?
“Did I say that?”
“Yes. Though just as a passing comment.”
I don't seem to remember.
Perhaps I don't remember since it was something so brief.
"If it was a rude question then you don't have to answer."
Adella spoke out immediately, perhaps taking my silence as a sign of embarrassment.
"No, don't worry. What's there to be embarrassed about."
I'm not ashamed of my dreams.
And there's no reason to hide them either.
''Yeah. But I guess my goals are a little different from back then."
Adella looked a little disappointed.
"As expected... Have you come to terms with reality?"
"Since becoming the clan leader is too unrealistic, you've set your goals to something more attainable..."
I knew what Adella was thinking.
''It's the opposite, the opposite."
"Yeah. When I say that my goals have changed, I don't mean it's because I have compromised with reality.”
As I looked at Adella tilting her head in confusion, I confidently spoke out.
“I've set my goals higher. Becoming the head of the Magic Shin Clan is just a stepping stone for me.”
''A stepping stone?"
“That's right, a stepping stone. Something that I'm going to simply pass by.”
My dream was much grander than just becoming the clan head.
"Once I've become the head of the Magic Shin Clan, becoming the world's best mage and standing above all the magic towers. That is my ultimate goal right now.”
Adella's eyes widened.
Her eyes showed that she was visibly surprised.
“Standing above all the magic towers. That's a goal that exceeds my imagination.”
And she smiled as if there was something to be happy about.
"To the point that it's a bit difficult to follow..."
It was a smile that announced that she was so excited that she could not wait for the events of the future.
* * *
[Translator - Nya]
[Proofreader - Karane]
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* * *
Meanwhile, at the mansion of the Magic Shin Clan.
Shin Jihan and Shin Seha were talking to each other.
“Even so, I could never have expected this.”
Shin Jihan, who was sitting with his legs crossed, tapped the side of his chair with his index finger.
This is a habit that Shin Jihan often does when organising his thoughts.
"...You're telling me not to mess with Hayul?"
Shin Inhyuk ordered Shin Jihan and his children not to interfere with Shin Hayul. His reason was that Shin Hayul was still a minor who had just returned to the family, and so wasn't ready to compete in the succession race.
Especially since he's been gone for a year, he should at least have a 2 month long grace period to get used to the clan again.
That is what Shin Inhyuk had said.
However, even the dog of the Magic Shin Clan would know that this was just a cover-up story.
“Why would he say that?”
There was no way Shin Inhyuk would intervene in the succession race for that kind of reason.
Since he's just returned and he's a minor we should give him a break?
Ordinarily, Shin Inhyuk would have said that the one-year gap was caused by his own lack of qualifications as a successor and that it was something he had to simply deal with.
Same with the case of being a minor.
The protection should have only lasted until he had received his artificial intelligence at 17 years old.
The 18-year-old Shin Hayul shouldn't be eligible for that protection.
“Oppa, could it be that father has taken Hayul as his heir?”
Shin Seha said this with a serious expression as she gnawed on her nails.
Anyone could see that Shin Inhyuk's behaviour showed that he was taking Shin Hayul's side.
Unless Shin Inhyuk planned to make Shin Hayul his heir, this kind of thing should never have happened.
That was what Shin Seha had speculated.
"No. That's not it."
However, Shin Jihan's speculations were slightly different.
''If that were the case, he would have blatantly supported him from a year ago. There's no reason for him to do all this now."
Even though a year ago, Shin Inhyuk favoured Shin Hayul, he had not chosen him as his successor.
Would Shin Inhyuk really make him his successor right now despite this?
Though it's a possibility, the likelihood isn't all that high.
“Then what? Why did he suddenly tell us not to interfere with Hayul?"
Shin Seha vented out her frustrations with an annoyed tone.
“Well for starters, I think father may have seen something in Hayul.”
“I don’t know what that thing is. I don’t have our father’s eyes.”
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the reason for the Magic Shin Clan's prosperity was all down to Shin Inhyuk's eye for things.
"Anyways, I reckon he saw something in Hayul and thought that he would need to look over him for a bit longer. I think he's decided something along those lines.”
Shin Inhyuk had favoured Shin Hayul in the past, so it was also possible that he might have been a bit more generous towards him.
“Since Hayul's way of magic is curious, a desire to watch over him for a little longer could have formed as well.”
All mages are investigators.
This tendency was particularly more noticeable in high-ranking mages like Shin Inhyuk.
He may have become interested when he saw Shin Hayul's unusual system of magic.
Shin Jihan's eyes twinkled.
“Maybe Hayul made a deal with father.”
“What kind of deal?”
“As to what kind even I don't know.
Like I said before, this is all just my own speculation.”
Shin Jihan shrugged.
“Hayul’s return to the family is too fast. And this two-month-long grace period as well. I just can't imagine our father making these decisions unprovoked. Something along those lines maybe.”
Too fast and too resolute.
The probability that Shin Hayul was involved in these decisions wasn't low.
Shin Jihan crossed his legs the other way and laced his fingers around his neck.
''It could be all three."
Shin Jihan smiled brightly as he looked at Shin Seha who had a frustrated expression.
“Anyway, what's certain is that father hasn't chosen Hayul as his successor.”
Although it was clearly a bright smile, the smile was a bit awkward.
"Well, it's unfortunate but we can't do anything about it. We have no choice but to just watch over him for 2 months because I don't want to get on the wrong side of our father."
"...Ugh, it's frustrating. I guess I should tell the kids I attached to him for surveillance to all come back?"
“If you're confident that they won't get caught by the Shadows, then it's alright for them to continue tailing him.”
They're an intelligence unit under the direct control of Shin Inhyuk and the black ops organisation of the Magic Shin Clan.
From infiltration to reconnaissance to escorting, there is nothing they are unable to do.
It's impossible to break through their surveillance network and keep tabs on Shin Hayul.
"Agh, it’s really annoying.”
Shin Seha frowned hysterically and picked up her phone.
"It's me. I've decided to stop watching Hayul, so pause everything that you were preparing and leave."
Shin Jihan left Shin Seha where she was and positioned himself by the window.
‘...2 months huh? It's natural for Seha, but for even me to be unable to do anything.'
If, as Shin Jihan had speculated, Shin Hayul had made a deal with Shin Inhyuk with a goal in mind, then Hayul couldn't be let loose so freely like this.
'Should I commission the Black Magic Tower?'
The black magic tower would be able to avoid the eyes of the Shadows and neatly deal with everything.
'And even if they do get caught, there would be no evidence that I was behind it.'
A corner of Shin Jihan's mouth rose.
Today, I think I'll have to use that secret phone line for the first time in a while.
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