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Chapter 283 – Followers of the End (2)

    Chapter 283 - Followers of the End (2)

    It took a thousand years to prepare for a simple experiment, but a grimoire had the patience to wait a thousand years. What was Gluttony referring to when he talked about the 'past'? The origin of black magic might be more profound than what modern magicians imagined.

    Theodore walked through the darkness which felt more gloomy as he listened to the voice inside him.

    -Let's start with the essence of orthodox magic. It is a magic that changes the laws of the material world, manipulating natural phenomena according to the caster's wishes. It can create fire at the desired spot or change the direction of the wind. It might seem strange, but it is a phenomenon based on the physical laws that exist in this world, Gluttony explained. Then it lowered its voice and continued, -Black magic is contrary to orthodox magic, it opposes the causal law of the material world, reviving the dead, forcibly capturing souls, repressing the will of others. It spreads diseases that don't exist and draws out the evil laws. They are people with depraved hearts that can't help being enemies of the whole world.

    "...Gluttony, there is a part that I don't understand," Theodore quietly listened to the explanation and then asked a question.

    He was forced to do so because, from his point of view, magic that deviated from natural phenomena was quite orthodox.

    There were two of the most representative examples.

    "Black magic borrows the power of the world to bring back the dead... Isn't that summoning magic? And magic like space movement seems like it bends natural phenomena."

    -There are two questions. I will explain it in the order mentioned, Gluttony replied without any hesitation. -As User says, summoning magic and death magic can look quite similar. In times when the division wasn't clear, paladins often misunderstood summoners as warlocks and killed them. In the end, it was revealed that there was a big difference between summoning and black magic.

    "A big difference?"

    -That's right. Summoning magic is a technique that invites guests from beyond this world, allowing them to exert their abilities. It is like the moon's shadow on the water. Even with mighty powers, they can't go beyond that boundary.

    Listening to Gluttony, Theodore couldn't help remembering Fafnir. The dragon of Muspelheim could only stay for a few seconds after Theodore sacrificed Charlotte's Necklace.

    Perhaps that ghastly body hadn't even been its true one.

    This was a transcendent being that had burned down the world tree alone. Satomer's summoning magic had been perfect, and he had prepared the correct sacrifice, but Fafnir hadn't been able to be sustained for more than a few seconds.

    The stronger the being, the more caught it was by the binding power of this world.

    The peak of Muspelheim, Fafnir, was no different than a god of the material world. Fafnir was a being who was born strong, who used that power without hesitation. Even the demons were much stronger, but they couldn't freely cross the walls of the dimension.

    The Fafnir that Theodore had called had been just a shadow of its body. It had been impossible for Muspelheim to free itself from the bindings.

    -The second is very simple, but it was hard to explain, Gluttony spoke in a delicate tone as Theodore used space magic as an example. Gluttony knew the answer but didn't know how to convince Theodore.

    Theodore failed to repress his attitude and demanded, "Why can't you give a simple explanation? Tell me anything."

    -Sigh. User said that space magic doesn't seem to correlate with natural phenomenon?

    "Then?"

    It was common sense. How was it possible to jump through space in this world without magical intervention? At least, that was the case for Theodore. Of course, it wasn't the same for Gluttony.

    -Withdrawal. A phenomenon that can frequently be seen when looking at the surface of the planet.

    "...What?"

    -It is science that this world hasn't been revealed yet. The concepts of wormholes, black holes, and other four-dimensional space haven't been revealed yet. User won't know about them. Space magic is certainly based on the laws of physics.

    Theodore realized that he couldn't object to this. Was it possible to argue against science that he didn't know?

    A grimoire lived on for infinity in the world and accumulated invaluable knowledge over the years. So, to a grimoire, Theodore's knowledge would be no different from a caveman. It was wiser to just accept what he heard.

    Gluttony silenced Theodore with a few words and added more information about black magic, -If space magic went against the laws of physics of this world as User said, the only magicians who can use Teleport would be limited to those who reached the 9th circle. It is like going against a huge river that is the world. It is because magic that doesn't borrow power from the natural laws of the world comes with a price that is several times that of orthodox magic.

    "Uh, then black magic?"

    -I am getting to the point now. Warlocks use taboo practices such as 'sacrificing humans' and 'draining' in order to cover their lacking power. They sacrifice another creature and convert it into their own magic power.

    The taboo of human sacrifices and draining...!

    Theodore stiffened at these words, and he stopped moving.

    Warlocks weren't public enemies of the continent from the beginning. They were just insidious and used spells of an unknown system. They were branded as enemies of the world due to the active abuse of these two taboos.

    Theodore started moving again and spat out, "It is a bloody history."

    -I also agree. But the problem wasn't that simple in the Age of Mythology. It was rare that they would act in the domain of the gods, and the demons' work was more heinous and dangerous than theirs.

    "Hah, I can understand that."

    -The problem was that the warlocks came into contact with the demons.

    "...What?"

    Inside the astonished Theodore, Gluttony recalled the memories of the distant past.

    -As invaders of this world, the actions of the demons were limited. However, warlocks gave sacrifices to loosen these constraints, and the demons taught them black magic in return. The reverse pentagram, the five-phase system of black magic, was completed at this time.

    Gluttony's analysis revealed that the demons had broken away from the constraints of life. They didn't die in the flow of time, and they were also difficult to kill using outside means.

    They freely invaded other dimensions and raised their power by enhancing other beings. Indeed, they were predators with the power of immortality! It wasn't unreasonable that the warlocks were fascinated by the power of the demons and wanted to be part of them.

    Then the twilight of a new world, Ragnarok, broke out.

    With the demons that invaded this world and the warlock forces that tried to end it... After the Dracomachia, the dragons had become almost extinct.

    This was already the second half of the Age of Mythology. The gods had lost their strength and eventually called for help from the transcendents who had become independent. The gods and transcendents had then united to confront the demon army.

    'The end of the Age of Mythology... To think that I will discover it in a place like this...!'

    With the warlocks who had become fascinated by the demons and conspired with them...

    That had been the end of the Age of Mythology, Ragnarok!

    In modern times, the only person who would know the situation was Theodore. Other than that, it was probably the dragons and grimoires like Gluttony who knew. It wasn't knowledge that humans, who could only live for a hundred years at most, would have.

    Theodore shivered with thrill, while Gluttony whispered after this rough explanation, -With their defeat during Ragnarok, the demons were expelled from this world and the warlocks lost most of their power... It is hard to forget the sense of omnipotence I once felt. I saw all types of works break down the boundary of this material world.

    "To destroy humanity and civilization...?"

    -One of the methods is to weaken the walls of the dimension. By the way, the four riders of the end, they have quite a bit of ability.

    Theodore immediately responded to these words, "What, you know about the four riders of the end?"

    -Of course. Do you want to hear about them?

    "Of course! Please."

    -I want two books of at least a rare rating in return.

    "...Hey," Theodore grumbled but pulled out the books. "Ah, you can't read the atmosphere."

    It seemed like his turmoil in the tunnel would continue a little longer.

    *     *     *

    A few days after that...

    The fact that Theodore had managed to raid Dofrun Castle and gotten good results was spread through all of Meltor. In a position where a single act of deception affected the morale of thousands, Theodore was a good propaganda tool.

    The soldiers were happy about the news, but the leaders were troubled.

    "Warlocks... They actually appeared at this time."

    Hearing the words of the Magic Society chairman, Benedict, Orta nodded.

    "I missed the tail of the Orcus Company once, but I never realized that they would appear again here. It is quite a bold move."

    "It is true that we can't afford to go against them. Fortunately, there is no possibility that they will ally with Andras."

    "There would be a big resistance from Lairon. To Andras, knights and priests are more important than hard-to-deal-with warlocks."

    Warlocks weren't people that nations would consider allying with. If they accepted the power of the public enemy of the world, Andras would be hostile to not just Meltor but everyone on the continent.

    In particular, they already had an alliance with Lairon!

    The religious country despised magicians who tried to break God's will, and they also hated warlocks that messed with the world. It was impossible for the church to embrace the power of warlocks.

    "According to Theodore, they came to obtain sacrifices for this war. They are like hyenas eating corpses."

    "They are extremely vulgar."

    Theodore had reported that the purpose of Hipatia's organization was to obtain 'sacrifices.' It wasn't possible to expose Death's Worship, so he made a reasonable excuse. The battlefield, which was overflowing with many deaths, grudges, and emotions, was a good altar for the warlocks. It was difficult to understand their recklessness of going to the North where there were plenty of masters, but they were like psychopaths.

    "Well, this isn't the problem right now."

    "It is as you said, Commander."

    The two magicians conversed as they left the barrack.

    "Theodore has raised the morale, so I will have egg on my face if I don't keep this going."

    "You have suffered a lot. I am also burdened, but not as much as you."

    "It is nothing. I know that you stayed up all night yesterday."

    Benedict coughed and blushed, before looking at the horizon. Andras' army was facing the brave soldiers. With no talking and no distractions, their discipline made Meltor's army shrink back. Besides, there was no doubt that 'he' was on the other side of the camp.

    "... Excuse me, can you do it?" As Benedict spoke, there was a heavy pressure on Orta's back. "You have already lost to him. If you can't win, it is good to try other tactics. You should use every power possible, even if it dirties your honor."

    "I won't deny it," White Tower's Orta agreed as a strategist and magician. After this, his lips curved in a mysterious manner under his mask. "But he made a mistake."

    "A mistake?"

    "Please believe in me. I won't lose to the same opponent twice, especially to one who deals with the same type of abilities," Orta said. Then he declared as he adjusted his mask, "I will repay him with interest."
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