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Chapter 298 – Victory Scar (2)

    Chapter 298 - Victory Scar (2)

    Wuuuong...!

    The Umbra imprint shone. The green light emerged in the form of a silver string, and Theodore felt his mental strength being sucked into it. It might be a minor undertaking for Jerem, but this was a daunting task for Theodore.

    However, this was natural. After all, interfering with a soul was only possible after becoming a real transcendent, in the realm of the 9th circle. Theodore wouldn't be able to try it at all if it wasn't for Umbra.

    'Stay focused. Sister will die if I fail once!'

    There was no second time. Veronica's life was at stake, causing Theodore to raise his concentration to the limit. Theodore sighed with relief as the light from his right hand entered Veronica's heart.

    "Okay, step one is successful."

    Their two souls were connected. After the next trial, Veronica's soul would be bound to his.

    "Huuu―..." One last deep breath. He couldn't afford a moment like this later on. Theodore held his breath as he concentrated his remaining mental power on the imprint on his right arm.

    The mind was just the tip of the iceberg that was called the soul. At the body's surface, there was the conscious mind. Then once you delved into the bottom of the mind, the soul would naturally be reached.

    This was the domain of the soul. Theodore's soul was compressed in one breath and sank deeply. As his eyes dimmed, the light from the imprint became clearer. His consciousness flowed down from his brain to his right arm. It rode through the cerebral blood vessels into the arteries of his right arm, reaching his wrist and palm. This process occurred while Theodore was in a trance, and his soul left his body.

    'Now!'

    It was time for stage two, escaping the body. A part of the soul was sent out of the body, directly interfering with the contractor's soul. From Theodore's right palm into Veronica's body, a green soul bead dug in.

    "―Hak!" Veronica screamed and convulsed.

    'Ugh!'

    It was a natural reaction. He would've been thrown back at the pressure coming from her if this was a fatal blow. However, Veronica was in a critical state and her resistance was considerably weakened. Thus, Theodore overcame the pressure and dug into her wounded heart.

    Then inside Veronica's wound, her soul was visible in front of him.

    [Damn, it is serious.]

    It was like the claws of a large animal had torn at her soul.

    [The soul's nucleus is at 30%. Even a soul master would only last a few minutes. If she wasn't a quarter dragon and I hadn't fed her the elixir...]

    Veronica would surely have died. Theodore felt a chill at the future that hadn't happened. Still, he had work remaining. Theodore looked at Veronica's wound and gently touched the surface. If he couldn't fill this hole, she couldn't survive.

    Then the two souls met.

    [―Kuk, what is this suction?]

    His soul was being sucked somewhere. It was like a drain collecting rainwater on a rainy day. Veronica's instinct to repair her soul was demanding Theodore's soul. At first, he panicked, but he soon realized that he could use this situation.

    It would be easier for him to interfere if she didn't resist.

    Kiiiiing!

    Simultaneously, the two souls began to resonate.

    ―························!!

    Somewhere, Theodore heard a voice that didn't belong to his memories.

    -Something like you, a child that shouldn't be born...!

    -Dragon blood? Are you a reptile or a mammal? You smell fishy, so can you not come near me?

    -Ack, hot! Were you trying to kill me? You monster!

    -Huhuhu, I will get a lot of money if I sell this kid.

    Contempt, loathing, hatred, greed... Voices filled with negative feelings resonated from all directions. These were memories that stabbed at someone's heart, someone's trauma. They didn't exist in Theodore's memories. Then perhaps these memories...

    [Sister's memories...?]

    It was the childhood of Veronica, who always looked dignified and strong.

    [This is too much!] He yelled in resentment, but no one answered.

    It couldn't be helped. They were just echoes of Veronica's past. Nevertheless, Theodore couldn't help shouting. Despite his experience in Bergen Academy, he didn't have such terrible memories.

    How had Veronica managed to go from this terrible past to what she was now? The strongest magician in Meltor, the incarnation of destruction that all magicians feared... To think that the exciting beauty had these shadows.

    There was no distinction of time as the flood of memories continued. Theodore couldn't remember clearly from then on. He just knew that he was angry as he cried and yelled, unable to do anything about the emotions that Veronica had felt in the past.

    Then he escaped from that flood of memories and opened his eyes.

    "...Eh?"

    Somehow, Theodore had returned to his own body.

    'Was it successful?'

    He could feel the warm body temperature and beating heart under his palm. It was weaker than usual, but it was not life-threateningly weak. Theodore focused his mind. His soul had filled the hole inside Veronica's heart. With his soul eyes, he could see that his right arm and Veronica's heart were connected by a green cord.

    "I succeeded..." Theodore's legs weakened, and he fell to the ground.

    He was falling out of the trance. Maybe the dragon blood and connection to Veronica had made him stronger. It was good, but if he didn't concentrate, he would faint.

    'Not yet, not yet. I need to bring both of them to Bergen.'

    He somehow got up and carried Veronica's and Randolph's bodies. The omnipotent feeling he'd gotten after entering the 8th circle had long since disappeared. This meant that the power he had consumed to heal Veronica's soul was enormous. His magic power, physical strength, and mental strength were at their limits.

    He drew a small magic circle with his toes and cried out, "Mass Teleport!"

    Was it thanks to reaching the 8th circle? Unlike before, Theodore succeeded in moving through space with a brief chant. Then there was a bright light. Flash!

    The destination was Bergen, a magic zone preset as the retreat area. From the middle of the desolate Nadun Mountains, the three people quickly jumped across the wall of space. There was a touch of cold air, and Theodore opened his eyes as he felt the success of space movement.

    "...Theo?" A crying voice greeted him. Sylvia came running with red eyes, like she had been crying for a long time.

    "...Sorry, I'm late."

    "It's okay! Everything is okay! Your body? You aren't hurt anywhere? I won't forgive you if you die in front of me!"

    "I'm exhausted but fine." Theodore shrugged, causing Sylvia to cry with a relieved expression. She helped him place the two people he was carrying on a stretcher, before entering Theodore's arms and rubbing her red nose against his chest. Her emotions overflowed again.

    "Grandpa. Kuk. Theo, Grandpa...!"

    "Yes, Sylvia."

    "Liar, liar. He said he would officiate... sob... my wedding... H-He left me...!"

    "Yes, Blundell is really bad."

    "No, my grandfather isn't... sob... bad..." Her words were a mess.

    Theodore smiled bitterly and patted Sylvia's back. She had lost her family in this fight. He wouldn't be stingy if he could comfort her with this weary body.

    'Ah, I am reaching my limit.'

    Theodore had abruptly reached the 8th circle, and there had been the unreasonable soul healing as well, so the burden on him was considerable. The last thing he saw was Orta rushing at him.

    Staring blankly at Sylvia, Theodore hoped that Orta would take care of things well.

    Then the long and fierce day ended.

    *  * *

    If he had to describe it in one word, it was a library. There were piles of books and bookshelves decorating the space. Books were stacked from floor to ceiling, with the smell of parchment tickling a person's nose.

    It was no exception for those who were sleeping, and it helped to wake up the consciousness of someone lying on a mountain of books.

    "Umm." Theodore opened his eyes in an unknown place. "This place...?"

    It was a familiar place. Theodore explored the landscape of the library and realized it was a separate space. This place was similar to Gluttony's library, but it was slightly different. He knew what he would see if he opened a book. This was a space made up of Theodore's memories. It was the spiritual world that existed at the bottom of his consciousness.

    "I see. I fainted when I tried to comfort Sylvia."

    Theodore identified the situation and sighed. Was the fatigue from healing Veronica's soul so much that he'd sunk down to the bottom of his consciousness? Maybe even a little bit of mental power was lost.

    He sighed at overcoming the crisis and looked at the scattered books.

    'Should I do a review?'

    Theodore's memory was excellent. He never forgot a book that he had read once and could write a brief summary on the spot. For him, a 'review' was just a tedious and repetitive task. If he read a book that he already knew, what new and interesting knowledge could be acquired?

    "...Well, it is better than nothing."

    In the end, just as Theodore was about to pick up a book...

    "―What, neglecting me after leaving me alone with your possessions? You are a bad person," a playful voice spoke out from behind him.

    "..."

    "What is with this reaction? Why do you have a stupid look on your face?"

    Theodore stared at her and muttered in a quivering voice, "...Sister?"

    "Huh?"

    "Veronica, Sister."

    Veronica realized why he was surprised and laughed. Then she walked over and pulled the stiff Theodore into her arms. It was a soft and warm touch. Veronica whispered in an affectionate voice toward Theodore, who stiffened in another manner, "Yes, I'm your Veronica now. Thank you for saving me."

    Then he realized it. This body that felt good to touch and the warmth that was conveyed... All of his senses proclaimed that she was alive. The terrible memory of the bleeding Veronica came to his mind, and Theodore reflexively inserted more strength into his hands.

    "Ah." Veronica made a noise.

    However, Theodore kept holding her tightly. He was terrified that she was going to disappear.

    "I'm sorry."

    He was guilty of having given her a dangerous role. He felt sorry for having looked into her memories. He hated his own inexperience when he healed her soul.

    "I'm sorry." Theodore kept repeating his apologies.

    "It's fine." Veronica patted his head as he hugged her. "Everything is okay, so don't cry my little one."
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