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Chapter 297 – Victory Scar (1)

    Chapter 297 - Victory Scar (1)

    This was a fact that Theodore didn't know, but the ancient elementals were proof of the similarities between gods and spirits.

    They were fragments of gods that had lost their power and divinity for some reason.

    It was the same for Mitra, born from the ancient Mother Earth-Demeter. At the end of the Age of Mythology, after Titanomachy ended and Olympus was trampled on, this little girl was born.

    While it was bored inside of Theodore, Gluttony had come up with a hypothesis.

    This material world is subject to the law of circulation. If a fallen god took the shape of an ancient elemental, there was no law which said an ancient elemental couldn't return to being a god after regaining strength and divinity.

    Maybe the ancient elemental could become a 'god's egg.'

    Of course, it was difficult to prove this hypothesis. How many ways were there to obtain divinity in this age? Wouldn't it be difficult to regain the divinity that was equal to a god's? It wouldn't have been possible if Theodore hadn't met certain conditions.

    [Hoing!] Mitra responded vigorously to Gluttony's signal.

    "What, who is it? Whose voice is this?" Jerem looked around with shock, but he couldn't find the source of Mitra's voice.

    That was natural as Mitra had currently been summoned inside Theodore's body!

    -Wind of Aiolos, water of Poseidon, earth of Demeter, fire borrowed from Nuada Airgetlám. Based on the four elements, a 'temple' is built in the body.

    The body of a magician was a world, meaning it wasn't impossible to reproduce the divine hierarchy and fertilize this world.

    In a voice that Jerem couldn't hear, Gluttony repeated the contents of the arrangement.

    If the hypothesis that an ancient elemental was a 'god's egg' was correct, certain conditions needed to be met to hatch it. Temperature, humidity, and so on were important with all eggs. Of course, the difficulty was literally the difference between heaven and earth.

    However, Gluttony filled the gap between heaven and earth.

    -All materials in this world are made up of the four elements of fire, water, earth, and wind. The unique properties of these four elements-dry, wet, hot, and cold-are used to form all things. Paracelsus built the system of the four elementals by substituting the elementals into this theory, but I have a higher goal.

    There was no concept of right and wrong when it came to theories of the world. Muspelheim which was filled with flames, Cocytus that was frozen, Pandemonium where demons resided... In this universe, many dimensions existed, each with their own unique origin.

    The four elements theory was just one branch of this infinite world.

    In addition to the framework of the four elementals, Gluttony laid down the foundation of the 'temple' that would support Mitra as a god. Since ancient times, Mother Earth had been a goddess representing the world itself.

    Now, Mitra was a representative of 'Theodore Miller's world,' and she recovered the past when she had existed as a goddess.

    [Hoing? H-Hoo...ee, ahhh...]

    In Theodore's mental world which no one else could see, Mitra's body was growing little by little.

    Her wheat-colored hair fell to her waist, and her small arms and legs grew. Her two eyes, that shone with an innocent light, were now filled with wisdom. Cracks in her body were filled, and her skin glowed with a divine light.

    The goddess, Demeter...

    Compared to her prime, this was at the level of one flower. However, the light was real. At this moment, Mitra climbed to the rank of a lower god.

    "What? Don't tell me... This power...?" Jerem paled as he realized it.

    The power of a god, born from the circles inside Theodore's body, started to overflow.

    It might be different for a divinity without a master, but a proper deity was the enemy of warlocks. For Jerem who was stigmatized as the enemy of the world, the power of a god would deal a fatal blow even if it was only a light touched.

    For Jerem who had it inside his body, it was like an extreme poison spreading from his heart. It was the first time Jerem had suffered like this.

    [...You, who are you?] Mitra asked in a clear voice. [Uhh, I am drowsy and feel bad. Get out of Theo's body right now!]

    "Kuaaaack!"

    Pure divine power exploded in Theodore's body. Mitra had released a powerful force without thinking, but as Jerem was connected to the body, it felt like his soul was being torn apart by the rage.

    He would've only received a small blow if it were an external force. However, now that they shared the same body, it was a fatal blow. This was similar to exorcising an evil spirit by pouring holy water directly onto the patient's brain.

    'I-I will die. This Jerem, the king who should cause the end...? But I can't give up this flesh...'

    A moment of hesitation caused a crisis.

    [Get out now!]

    "Kuaaaaah!" Jerem's soul was brutally torn apart.  There was no more time for him to worry now. One more blow would kill him completely. Holding the tattered pieces of his soul together, Jerem barely cried out, "P-Pale Rider, come here!"

    The unidentified bandaged undead responded to his call. Then Jerem reached out with one hand and grabbed the monster's neck, ordering with bloodshot eyes, "Give your body to me!"

    "...As you please."

    "I'll take it!" Simultaneously, Jerem's soul flowed out of Theodore's hand.

    The soul fled from Theodore's body through Theodore's right hand that was holding onto the pale rider. In addition to ownership of Death's Worship, half of Jerem's vast amount of knowledge had been lost.

    Jerem stared poisonously at Theodore after taking over the pale rider's body. However, he didn't have the ability to fight against Mitra, who was protecting Theodore. His connection with Tartarus had also been cut off, and his knights had consumed a lot of power.

    "...Don't think I will give up so easily," Jerem said before changing his body into a blue fog. Then he vanished without a trace.

    -A defeated dog barks in every age, Gluttony ridiculed. Then he spoke to Mitra, -Now, it is time to go back.

    Mitra didn't speak, but she pouted like she understood the meaning of the words.

    [I don't want to return to being a puny kid.]

    -It can't be helped. User's vessel still can't contain a god.

    He might've unintentionally reached the 8th circle, but it was preposterous for a mortal to become the vessel of a god. Even a lower god was more transcendent than a dragon. As an entity that could manipulate the material world at will, the current Mitra could cause an earthquake just by breathing.

    [...I understand.] Mitra, who became a beautiful woman, let out a long sigh. [Then give my best regards to Theo, Uncle Tongue.]

    She disappeared into Theodore's body with a mischievous smile.

    -...Uncle Tongue?

    For the first time in thousands of years, maybe longer than that, Gluttony was shocked by someone's words.

    *     *     *

    Theodore's consciousness emerged shortly after that.

    "...Um..." He let out a groan and raised his throbbing upper body. His blurred vision cleared immediately, and he sorted through his confused senses and thoughts. A few seconds after regaining consciousness, Theodore finished looking at the situation and said, "Thank you, Gluttony."

    -...What are you saying all of a sudden?

    "From your position, it would've been more efficient to choose Jerem instead of me."

    Gluttony was silent for a moment before speaking in a rarely used, surprised tone, -User, you remained conscious? Wasn't your body taken over?

    "A little bit, it wasn't clear. I know how things went, but it isn't detailed."

    -I-I see, Gluttony felt relieved for some reason and continued speaking, -There is someone you should greet before that.

    "Ah." That's right. Theodore stretched out his hand, and a little girl appeared on top of it.

    She was the ancient elemental who had lost the power of a lower god and returned to the appearance of a child.

    [Hoing! Deoo!]

    "Mitra, thank you for saving me."

    [Hoong?]

    It seemed like Mitra had no memory of when she had been a god, as she looked at him with a strange expression. Theodore just chuckled and tickled her head. One day, he would tell her these words when they could communicate properly.

    Theodore recalled that memorable sight and choked down his emotions.

    After a moment, Gluttony spoke again, -User. It is okay to relax your mind and body, but don't you still have something to do?

    "Something to do... Ah!" Theodore belatedly recalled his two companions, and a fearful momentum rose from within him.

    Just one step...

    He only moved his legs once, but he leaped over a hundred meters.

    'This is the power of eight circles!'

    The impact Jerem left behind, the eight circles multiplied Theodore's magic power and physical abilities by several times.

    This was the path to transcendence beyond the human framework.

    Theodore might not have red dragon blood like Veronica, but he was the vessel of divinities and Aquilo's blood. Now, his strength and reflexes reached a level where he could have a close combat fight with a sword master of the same level. In the past, he couldn't use lightning and Dimensional Leave for long because his body hadn't been able to bear the burden, but the application of those two magics would be much easier now.

    Before long, Theodore reached the two people. "Sister! Randolph!"

    First, he pulled out Randolph, who was stuck in a rock wall, and laid him down next to Veronica. He opened his hands, and his detection magic was activated much faster than before. Theodore diagnosed the two unconscious people.

    'Randolph... He is still okay. His wounds are pretty heavy, but they should heal quickly when combined with magic potions. The problem is Sister's soul was stitched together by Jerem...'

    Theodore's face stiffened. "Shit. His magic is being released now that he has been kicked out of my body! The collapse of her soul will soon begin!"

    The damage Invidia's 'Destruction' ability dealt onto Veronica's soul wasn't something that could be cured with an 8th circle body.

    Thus, Jerem had sewn up the soul as a temporary measure. Now that Jerem's magic was being released after Theodore regained his body, the crack in Veronica's soul would widen and her body would be torn apart in the aftermath.

    Theodore could see Veronica's soul with his eyes. The efficacy of the drug was going away, and Veronica would soon be lost.

    'What should I do? Is there a way? I don't have time. Hurry!'

    Heat was spreading in his head. As the heat rose, blood dripped down from his nose. This was a rapid acceleration of his thinking power that even an 8th circle magician couldn't endure.

    He went through all the magic and shamanism knowledge he had in his mind at super speed. Saving Veronica couldn't be done by any one magic. Theodore sensed this and looked through rituals.

    'Not just magic or shamanism alone. I have to try combining magic and shamanism.'

    There was no room for Gluttony to speak. Theodore's eyes turned red. His blood-red vision meant that was Veronica's life was fading. It was proof that the vitality of her dragon blood was at its limit.

    Then at that moment...

    "...Yes, there is that method!"

    Theodore shifted his hand, bringing his palm to the middle of Veronica's chest. He didn't shake at all as he calmly moved his magic power. From now on, there couldn't be any errors. The mark of Umbra on his right arm shone with a green light, the light becoming sharper due to his eight circles.

    'Normally, I would seek permission from her, but it can't be helped now...!'

    Veronica's wound was fatal because an injury of the soul couldn't be healed. In order to heal a destroyed soul, the person needed to be at a transcendent level or have healing abilities equivalent to a god.

    At least, that was the limit for 'normal' methods.  Therefore, Theodore went through all the eastern and western methods and came up with a shortcut-a spirit contract!

    It was a forbidden magic which bound the soul of the master and slave together, forcing a vow of allegiance that couldn't be betrayed. However, Theodore intended to apply this technique to Veronica's treatment.

    This was a binding magic where the soul of the slave would die if they disobeyed the master. In some cases, the personality of the slave could even be manipulated.

    -Do you still want to do it?

    '...I will apologize to her and pledge myself to her. I can't think of a method other than this. And if this continues for much longer, it will be irreversible.'

    -Well, good. The method that User thought of is much more efficient than any measures that I envisioned. There is a high likelihood of success.

    Theodore felt a little reassured as he took a deep breath and cried out, "「метемпсихоз (Soul Reversion)!」"

    Borrowing the power of Dragon Words, Theodore started the unprecedented soul treatment.
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