Descent of the Legendary Archmage
[Translator – Nya]
[Proofreader – Karane]
From yesterday onwards, I was starting to feel that I had mastered deliberation.
But I wanted to master the magic a bit more before activating the magic circle.
It says this in the book as well, but even if I have become proficient with it, impatience is a damning poison.
So let's activate it when I'm completely ready.
That's what I had planned.
‘But I don't have that kind of liberty right now.'
Since the situation has changed.
My goal was to get into the quarterfinals.
And since my opponent in the round of 16 is Adella, I must give it my all.
I quickly turned to page 203.
A magic circle that I had never seen in my life was stuck slap bang in the middle of the page.
When I placed my fingertips onto the unique magic circle which I couldn't even think about deciphering, mysterious sparks were let out.
"Let's do this."
I placed my entire hand on the magic circle and started to revolve my infinity circle.
And as soon as I did that.
‘O to the official successor of the Bytenor style of magic. I wish you great success.'
Ray Vell Bytenor.
I could hear my Master's voice directly in my head.
And the next time I woke up;
"...Where am I?"
I was standing in a room I had never seen in my life.
It was a mysterious room that looked like an antique library while simultaneously looking like a training room.
"I congratulate you for making it to the page of the first test."
At the center of this mysterious room, a woman bowed her head to me.
‘‘I'm the guide who administrates the test on the first page. I'm called Alpha.”
The woman, who introduced herself as Alpha (α), welcomed me with a friendly smile.
"...The page of the first test?"
"Yes. This is the first page among the tests that exist inside the grimoire, Eadred.”
The grimoire Eadred?
This book was called Eadred?
No, more importantly.
"Th-this is the inside of a book?"
"So, you're telling me that on page 203... In that single little page, there was something like this contained within it?"
"So you didn't transport me somewhere else with space magic or anything like that, you're telling me that this separate space was made within a book?"
I was so shocked that no words would come out.
What kind of divine skill must you possess to do something as impossible as creating a room like this inside of a book?
"Please don't be so shocked. In the future, you too will also be able to accomplish all these feats as well."
"...That's even more shocking."
Just what were the limits of the Bytenor style of magic?
I could do nothing but laugh.
“What's the purpose of this room?”
I decided to swallow my surprise and focus on the situation at hand.
‘‘Just as its name suggests, it's a room created for the test."
“Ah, you said that this was the page of the test, didn't you?”
I can't believe I asked something so obvious.
I guess I couldn't get all the shock out of my system and haven't regained my senses yet.
"On the page of the first test, we will assess whether you, the successor, have fully mastered 'deliberation'."
Alpha explained with a bright smile.
"You will learn what the test entails as the test begins and you will pass the test when you are judged to have fully mastered deliberation.
In the case that you pass, pages 18~31 that contain information on 2-circle magic will be revealed.
"I see. So the rest of the pages will be revealed in this manner."
There was a reason why no further pages were revealed no matter how much I trained my deliberation.
"That's it for the explanations. Would you like to start the test immediately?"
Alpha asked with a grin.
"Yes. If there's nothing else to explain, I want to start now."
"As you wish. Then I will commence the first test."
Along with Alpha's announcement, her body disintegrated into mana and scattered across the sky.
"...I had my suspicions but to think she was actually someone made out of mana."
This too is magic that only exists in people's imaginations.
Just what were the limits of the Bytenor style of magic?
The question I had earlier once again floated around in my head.
‘I will now announce the contents of the first test.'
And once again, I could hear my master's voice in my head.
I, who had been distracted, focused in an instant.
'This jewel is called an Elemental Mana Light.'
Suddenly, a jewel with a mysterious shape appeared, floating before my eyes.
‘This is an imperfect jewel of chaos with four different attributes of mana mixed together.'
It was a beautiful jewel which formed an aurora that emitted the colors red, blue, green, and yellow.
'There is but one way to refine an Elemental Mana Light. You must precisely separate the different elements of mana, that have been mixed, into their respective elements.’
Just by looking at it, I can tell the mana's a mess.
The elements of mana here can be compared to sand, sugar, salt, and pepper that's been mixed.
Actually, it's even worse.
The four elements of mana are attracting each other while simultaneously repelling each other; they're in a state that is physically impossible.
"Your test is simple. Completely refine this jewel."
I had thought that might have been the case and it turned out that I was right.
When I thought about what he had said, it made sense.
'If deliberation has been fully mastered then this is perfectly achievable.'
’It won't be easy, but if it's my disciple, then I have confidence that you'll succeed.'
‘Then I'll wish you the best of luck.'
With that, I could no longer hear my master's voice.
"Elemental Mana Light..."
I held the jewel that was floating in the air, shining in four colors.
"This isn't good."
Now that I've touched it I understand more clearly.
Inside this jewel is chaos.
It's to the point that I'm wondering how it hasn't exploded despite there being four different elements jumbled together.
“So you want me to sort out this mana.”
Sorting this mana with anything short of perfect control is impossible.
The jewel is bound by a structure where if one element of mana is moved, all 3 will move along with it, so any minor mistake will result in an irreversible effect.
‘‘The only person who can refine this crystal really is someone who's a user of the Bytenor style of magic and has mastered deliberation."
When you give the fact that the mana are simultaneously attracting and repelling each other some thought, you quickly realise that it's impossible to refine this jewel using modern magic.
I, the sole user of the Bytenor style of magic, am the only one capable of refining it.
"...This should be fun."
A smile bloomed from the side of my mouth.
There's just something about a challenge that's exhilarating.
"Okay. Let's do this.”
My infinity circle, in accordance with my will, was spinning hard.
[Translator - Nya]
[Proofreader - Karane]
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At that time, elsewhere.
The Blue Tower's master was mid-call with the Red Tower's master.
"Sorry, James. I think it's going to be hard to try and buy the magic formula of the Wind Spear."
Kim Kangin spoke fluent English.
— I expected that to be the case.
The Red Mage Tower's Master smiled bitterly.
Even the Red Magic tower's master didn't think that Shin Hayul would reveal his secrets.
The Red Magic Tower's master knew better than anyone that the priceless treasure known as vision magic was a magic that could not be shared with others, even if it meant death.
— There's no use in me trying to persuade him, right?
"Probably. It was the only breakthrough that he had whilst at the edge of hell; why would he share that with others?"
That marvelous Wind Spear was Shin Hayul's ray of hope.
The only ray of hope that he had which allowed him to overcome the disability of being incompatible with AI.
There was no way that he would give away such magic so easily.
“It seems like the vision magic was better than what we had expected.”
Kim Kang-in’s eyes twinkled.
“I had a conversation with Hayul earlier. It seemed like he had other magic spells that he had improved other than the Wind Spear."
Shin Hayul had answered yes to Kim Kangin when he had asked if he was going to improve any other magic spells.
"I'm only guessing here but I don't think the Wind Spear is Hayul's vision magic. I think that his vision magic is the ability to improve any magic spell."
This was Kim Kangin's answer.
— That doesn't even make sense!
Shouted James Piller, the master of the Red Magic Tower
— There's no way such magic can exist. You know just how sensitive magic formulas are.
‘‘Hmm. That's true, but.”
Kim Kangin answered while drumming his left thumb on the table.
“I don't know. For all we know, such a spell could exist among the undiscovered ancient magics."
Ancient magic and vision magic are essentially the same things.
For example, if a certain family was to obtain an ancient magic formula and were to keep it to themselves whilst not disclosing it to the public then that ancient magic would become a vision magic.
— Ugh. You said that it was Shin Hayul's hobby to collect ancient books, didn't you?”
— If he had obtained a really special ancient book, then it could make sense.
The Master of the Red Magic Tower was deep in thought.
— If what you're saying is true, then that's a magic spell I would pay millions of dollars for.
"I feel the same way."
The two men laughed with mysterious expressions.
”Well, I'll confirm if my hypothesis is true or not at tomorrow's match."
— If he uses a spell other than Wind Spear then we'll know for sure.
One can speculate that these two men will watch Shin Hayul's match live.
“Well, that's all our business taken care of right?"
— Ah. You said that you still had tons of experimenting to go, didn't you? It seems like I've disturbed you, sorry.
"No worries. It was about time I had a break anyway."
— Then that's a relief.
The Red Magic Tower's Master laughed.
— Okay I have one last question. I'm asking this because I want to know this personally, but is your research going well?
Kim Kangin smiled bitterly and shook his head.
Then, he turned his attention to the jewel that he had left on one side of his room.
‘‘It's not easy to perfectly control the four elements.”
— See. I told you it was going to be hard.
A mysterious jewel that exudes four colors in an irregular pattern.
[The Elemental Mana Light] emitted a brilliant light.
— Don't be too preoccupied with the research. Though, of course, if you do manage to refine it, you'll be able to make the 'All Type Artifact...'
The Red Magic Tower's master didn't have to add anything more to that statement.
* * *
May the 2nd, 4:40 AM.
With a sunken face, I laughed to myself.
"...Did it really take 8 hours and 40 minutes?"
In my hand was a single jewel that shone in four colors.
However, this jewel didn't shine in an irregular pattern like before.
It's in a state where each of the four colours are perfectly divided.
“Well, I succeeded nevertheless.”
Refined Elemental Mana Light.
It was emitting a brilliant glow in my hand.
I laughed brightly while opening [Ray Vell Bytenor], no I should call it by its formal name, [Grimoire Eadred].
[Congratulations on passing the test.]
The 18 pages that were empty were filled with my master's handwriting.
[In congratulation, I shall gift you the Elemental Mana Light. It will aid you immensely when creating artifacts.]
I already know this.
I intuitively knew, the moment I laid eyes on this jewel that it would be the highest quality of material for creating artifacts.
The reason I was so nonchalant was because I hadn't thought that I would be able to take it outside of the book.
"I didn't expect to be allowed to take it out with me."
All's well that ends well I suppose.
‘I need to find a true master craftsman to leave this to.'
I can't leave such a high-quality ingredient to any old craftsman.
It can only be left to someone worthy of working with such material.
‘No, this isn't what's important right now.’
I put the Elemental Mana Light into a suitable box and placed it in a drawer.
I can think about the Elemental Mana Light later.
Right now, I have to focus on my bout with Adella that's coming up soon.
“I have about 7 hours until the match starts.”
Then, once I had double-checked the time, I held [Eadred's grimoire] in my hand.
"I wonder if I can grasp a lead on becoming a 2-circle mage in 7 hours..."
My eyes twinkled.
[Now I'll explain how to weave your second ring.]
* * *
There was only one match left for the round of 16.
And that match was between Shin Hayul and Adella.
The current time is 11:25 AM.
There are less than five minutes until the start of the 8th game.
"I am still unable to contact Student Shin Hayul."
“Could there have been an accident or something..."
Despite this, Shin Hayul still had not shown up.
"What, did Shin Hayul run off?"
“As if he's afraid of Adella?”
"I knew this would happen."
"He's a cowardly rat."
"He scurried off just as a rat would. Keke."
From the stands, criticisms laced with jealousy erupted one after another.
“Are you sure there hasn't been an accident?”
"Soonchan. Give him a call."
"...He's not picking up."
Of course, not all of them were like that though.
There were also a lot of people who were actually concerned for Shin Hayul.
"I think something's actually happened."
"Shouldn't we go check his room?"
“I tried knocking earlier, but there was no response.”
Ji Soonchan bit his lips with a serious expression.
In the heart of the noisy Colosseum, Adella alone had closed her eyes and was focusing on her concentration.
She cannot hear the voices of the audience.
Her mind was calm and still like a tranquil lake.
She seemed like she hadn't even thought of the possibility of Shin Ha-ul not appearing.
"There's one minute left."
And in an instant, 4 minutes flew by.
“Do we really have to give her a win by default?”
"I suppose so."
And in that exact moment when the instructors were thinking about giving a win by default.
Adella opened her eyes.
And at the same time, a man could be seen at the entrance of the Colosseum.
And underneath his expression of urgency, there was an expression of joy and happiness.
"Student Shin Hayul. Why are you so late?"
An instructor approached Shin Hayul and tapped his watch.
With an expression that demanded if he knew what time it was right now.
"I'm sorry. I was a little late getting ready.”
Shin Hayul lowered his head slightly.
“What kind of preparation were you doing to be this late..."
The instructor was about to say something more but stopped themself.
"Tsk. We'll discuss this later."
There was no time for any nagging.
They had to start the match this very instant.
"I can't give you any additional time to focus your mind. I hope you can put up with it."
"Yes. I already know."
“Then, to your corners."
The instructor slipped out of the colosseum as the signal sounded.
In the Colosseum, where there were only the two of them left, Adella asked in a voice as tranquil as a lake.
"Have you finished all of your preparations?"
It was a question that she had asked nonchalantly upon hearing that Shin Hayul was late because of his preparations.
"Yes, I have."
Shin Hayul answered while warming his body up.
"May I ask why you were late?"
This was also a question she asked nonchalantly.
‘‘Hm. It was nothing.”
“I was just getting ready to defeat you.”
Her response just now was very much the opposite of nonchalance.
The corner of Shin Hayul's mouth started to rise.
“Look forward to it. Because I'm thinking this match will be amusing."
Inside the body of Shin Hayul, whose eyes were shining, there were two distinct circles of mana that had settled down.
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