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Chapter 314 - Towards the World Tree (1)

    Chapter 314 - Towards the World Tree (1)

    [Lemegeton (Severely Damaged)]

    [This is a grimoire that contains the power of King Solomon from the Age of Mythology. King Solomon used his wisdom and magic to rule over 72 great demons, wielding the power of the great demons with ten rings. Additionally, Solomon prepared a seal and key in case of his death.

    * This grimoire can't function normally.

    * Please note! This grimoire is over 90% damaged. The powers can't be fully absorbed even with predation.

    * When ingested, the imprints of the senior great demons 'Nebiros', 'Foras', and 'Flauros' will be acquired. User can borrow their powers from these imprints or demonstrate special powers.

    * When consumed, a very large amount of magic power will be absorbed.]

    'It is definitely not in a good state.'

    More than 90% damaged...? As a book, it was like having all the pages torn out except for one. Even if it was a grimoire, most of its power had already been lost. It was astonishing that so much had been lost. According to Gluttony, it wasn't even performing at 5%, yet it still contained the power of three senior great demons. In a perfect state, Lemegeton must have a myth rating.

    -Yes, it is as User guessed, Gluttony confirmed it like it had heard Theodore's thoughts.

    "It really has a myth rating?"

    -That's right. Some of the great demons who contracted with Solomon had high rank and power.

    "Demon king... like Fulito?"

    -If I had to compare Fulito with one of the 72 great demons, he is similar to the 7th one, Amon.

    "7th?" Theodore's face stiffened.

    Fulito was only 7th! If that was true, then Lemegeton had at least seven great demons with more power than a demon king, a transcendent who reigned as the master of one dimension and wielded that world according to his will. It was no wonder that Gluttony reacted to Solomon's name. He was incomparable to Theodore, who had summoned Magnus in the past. What type of existence was Solomon, who had dozens of high-ranking great demons contracted to him?

    It seemed like he was beyond the level of a transcendent. No one would argue if Solomon were called the god of magic. However, Gluttony had a different opinion of Solomon.

    -No, he was just smart. He became aware of the endless desires of demons and fooled them with a clever contract. There were some demons who were deceived by some tricks, but others knew about it and passed by. Solomon was the summoner who called them. The material world of the Age of Mythology was what attracted their attention.

    "They came like a sightseeing group?"

    -Your words aren't entirely wrong. For great demons, another dimension is just a place to 'play.'

    Pleasure is an inescapable desire for demons who have eternal life. In that sense, Solomon was a spokesman for those desires and the guide of many demons into this material world.

    It was the result of talent and timing creating the situation.

    [Ahem!] At that moment, the prohibited book didn't grasp the atmosphere and interrupted Gluttony. [My creator, Solomon, is a great man! Many powerhouses in the Age of Mythology fell before him!]

    -Shut up, used thing.

    [Hiik.]

    The prohibited book shut its mouth, and Gluttony began to speak again.

    -I wasn't expecting a Baal or Agares class, but this is really terrible. The 24th 'Marquis', the 31st 'Hell Knight', and the 64th 'Great Duke'-they are worthless when it comes to battle strength. That drunkard, Saleos, still remains.

    Theodore asked for an explanation, and Gluttony taught him in a disgruntled voice about Solomon's 72 great demons and the power of these three great demons.

    Number 24, Marquis Nebiros, was a necromancer and controlled the power of 'Pain.'

    Unlike the demon's nickname of 'Knight', Number 31-Hell Knight Foras-was the owner of a vast wisdom and gave the summoning the power of 'transparency.'

    Number 64, Great Duke Flauros, possessed the power of 'Burning Eyes', which allowed the owner to shake off the temptations of other demons.

    Theodore listened to the explanation in detail and said, "In the middle..."

    It wasn't enough to call them bad, but the demons didn't have the ability to help him directly. The teachings of necromancy were of no use to Theodore who wasn't a warlock. Additionally, Gluttony's protections meant that the added bonuses were meaningless as Theodore already had strong mental defenses. The practical powers of 'Transparency', 'Burning Eyes', and 'Pain' were so vague that he didn't know their purpose.

    'Well, a powerful demon wouldn't acknowledge me as qualified. Is it okay to compromise to this extent?'

    However, Theodore looked at the prohibited book thoughtfully. Looking around at the other shelves, the majority of those present gave off an evil feeling just from the cover. Collecting the fragments of a myth rated grimoire was more appealing, even if it was damaged. More than anything else, he liked that it could exert the functions without predation.

    "Hey, prohibited book."

    [...Yes?] The Lemegeton fragment responded to Theodore's call.

    "Accept me as a temporary contractor. Do you want to be stuck in this sealed room forever?"

    [That... Why temporary?]

    "I possess so many divinities. How can I make a perfect contract with a demonic grimoire? Besides, if I make a double contract with you, I think there will always be conflict with Gluttony."

    The Lemegeton fragment contemplated the words for a while before accepting the suggestion, [Okay, I will accept a contract with you.]

    "A wise choice."

    The moment that the mutual agreement was decided, a thick strand of magic power formed between Theodore and the prohibited book. It was the magical contract line to symbolize the conclusion of contract magic. The red gem of the Lemegeton fragment and Theodore's right hand were intertwined with a string, then the last process of the contract occurred. It was the disclosure of the grimoire's identity, its true name.

    [I was called 'Lemegeton' a long time ago, but I was deprived of its light and crashed to the ground. The first of five locks, the prohibited book whose head is Lemegeton... Until the day that I am perfect again, call me 'Ars Goetia'!]

    "Ars Goetia."

    [Yes, Master. You can just call me 'Goetia'.]

    Theodore picked up Goetia, and the red jewel changed its shape. The thick book transformed into a small silver ring that wrapped around a finger on Theodore's right hand. It was reluctant to be on Theodore's left hand where Gluttony resided.

    'Oh, isn't this a convenient feature? The 10 rings that Solomon wore were probably a variant of Lemegeton.'

    That wasn't all. Once Goetia turned into a ring, Theodore realized that his casting speed and amount of magic power had risen sharply. The functions of 'sub-ego' and 'secondary operations' that Goetia had mentioned started to show their power. The features were simple, but the level of the secondary operations was excellent.

    Of course, Gluttony was still uncomfortable about the contract.

    -Hah! Ars Goetia? Is it the name of the first chapter of Lemegeton? You picked it well for being so tattered.

    [Hiiik!]

    Despite having the same contractor, it was unknown if Gluttony's one-sided abuse of the prohibited book would stop. In the end, Theodore had to intervene. "Gluttony, don't scare it too much. It is too inferior to you."

    -Hrmm, I understand.

    Theodore walked out of the sealed room while Gluttony suppressed its hostility. Then Theodore closed the door of the room and reset the lock.

    Ching! Snap.

    The several layers of magic circles overlapped to form a magic spell, and the key in the keyhole faded away. The key to the sealed room was only for one use. Once it was used, it couldn't be used again. Every time the seal was released, the key would change. This tight security was truly the backbone of the kingdom.

    'Now, this part is finished. Should I go back?'

    With four magic books and one prohibited book, Theodore invoked Teleport. No shadows remained in the Zero Library.

    *     *     *

    "―Ah."

    "You took a long time."

    Theodore discovered an unexpected person when he left the Zero Library. It was a blonde girl with brown skin, Paragranum. Unlike her appearance, she was actually the head of the yellow tower and a grimoire. She had performed numerous studies in the magic kingdom and might've conspired with Invidia.

    "Hasn't it been a long time, Captain? I didn't know you would return after facing Envy. I need to increase my evaluation."

    Paragranum smiled and placed the fox, that was in her arms, on the ground. The fox had three tails; it was Tres. He was frightened after being caught by Paragranum and rushed toward Theodore the moment he was set free. The warm and fluffy texture entered Theodore's red robe.

    Then the fox cried out with relief. Yip, yiip. Even though Tres was young, the intelligence of his spirit was high. He remembered that Paragranum had wanted to dissect him last time.

    Theodore stared at Paragranum. "You..."

    "Aren't you leaving your pet alone too much? It would've died if it belonged to another magician. If you hadn't come back, this would've become my first spirit specimen."

    "What do you want?" Theodore ignored Paragranum's joke that wasn't a joke and stared into her eyes.

    Paragranum's eyes held no emotions at all. It was like they were glass beads. He realized it when he saw these eyes. This being was a monster, not a human. She could do anything as long as it achieved her purpose of existence. Theodore was convinced that she had joined hands with Invidia to cause the long war in the north.

    "Oh, my. Don't be too wary. You know 'our' ecology. Right now, is there any reason for me to be hostile to Meltor? What benefits can you gain from removing me?"

    "No. I have no reason to listen to your words," Theodore replied coldly and took a step back.

    Grimoires had no human emotions, as they were things that would interfere with their principles of action. Encountering something like this was like yelling at a wall. If he accused Paragranum of working with Invidia, she would nod without any qualms.

    Maybe that was why he decided not to ask. She wasn't an opponent who should be rewarded with his emotions. Theodore cooled his head and stared at the being that, along with Invidia, was the wicked culprit of the slaughter in the north. One side had fostered sword masters and fed on them. The other side acted in order to make her research proceed faster. Grimoires wouldn't hesitate to do any sins if it meant accomplishing their purpose of existence.

    "Well, don't be so hasty." Paragranum didn't shrink back at all as she faced the angry Theodore.

    Instead, she pulled something out. It was from a shabby looking dimensional pocket.

    "That!"

    "Isn't it too impressive to forget?"

    The item was an emerald jewel in the shape of a cube. It had a perfect balance as light reflected off it. At Paragranum's request, Theodore had recovered it from the ruin in the Meuse Desert. The Emerald Tablet-a treasure that all alchemists praised as the 'Door of Truth'-recorded the truths of the universe. Gluttony had drooled over it, so there was no need to explain its value.

    "Now, don't drop it." However, Paragranum threw it casually!

    "What are you doing?" Theodore cried out roughly as he grabbed the space pocket and the Emerald Tablet.

    Then Paragranum opened her mouth, "Can't I do something kind for others? I've handed over handmade potions, catalysts, and the Emerald Tablet."

    "That's why I am asking. What are your intentions?"

    "Don't you need to go fight the necromancer that is contracted to Nídhöggur?" Paragranum shrugged as it spoke in a playful voice. "Nídhöggur, the lizard that rots all matter, is the enemy of alchemy. I can't coexist with a warlock who contracts to such a being. Thus, I will lend a hand so that you can get rid of him."

    "But didn't you say you would only give the Emerald Tablet after you achieved your purpose?"

    "Unlike Gluttony, I am not obsessed with the original." Paragranum muttered 'copy' in a small voice before continuing. "It is up to here. This time, I will place a bet on your victory and wait."

    "...What side was it last time?"

    Paragranum stopped for a moment as she was walking away. She didn't look back as she gave her answer, "It doesn't matter either way."
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