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Chapter 315 - Towards the World Tree (2)

    Chapter 315 - Towards the World Tree (2)

    A few days after that:

    Theodore's preparations had ended with the removal of a few books from the Zero Library. However, the two guardians lying in bed needed a little more time to finish their preparations. No, two days was too short. How could someone without an arm or whose neck was wounded cross the Red Plateau, which was famous for its harshness? The journey wasn't easy even for those with no injuries.

    However, Theodore envisioned a better journey.

    "Theo, is it really okay?" Veronica was worried that he might be being too hasty. Both of them were ready to leave, but it had been only three days since returning from the Lairon Kingdom. She was well aware of the possibility that this might be too soon, as she had been born as a quarter dragon.

    Throughout her life, Veronica had constantly realized the difference between herself and others. With a frail body, unstable magic power, and stamina that only lasted a few days, even a magician who crossed the wall of a master was fragile compared to dragons.

    "It is fine. I'm well aware of my limitations." Nevertheless, Theodore didn't show any signs of weakness as he checked the magic circle he had drawn last night.

    Like the last time, the scale of this magic circle drawn in the palace's backyard was enormous. It was the result of adding a few functions and assuming there would be a longer distance to travel over than when they went to Sipoto Plains. This was a magic circle to transport them to the northernmost part of the Northern Continent, the large forest containing Elvenheim.

    'Okay, there are no problems.'

    A normal teleport couldn't enter the Great Forest because mana evaporated in the Red Plateau. It was possible to manipulate space like Orta, but the mana of Teleport would be cut off along the way. Thus, Theodore had to change the underlying idea.

    'If the flow is interrupted, don't ride it. Jump instead.'

    They would move from point to point, not along a line. The coordinates of the vacant space were exchanged with the coordinates of the Great Forest. This was close to impossible. However, Theodore had a means to make the impossible possible.

    [Hoit, hoi, ho...? Hooing?] The girl who emerged from the earth, Mitra, was the main character. Mitra had the seed of the world tree in her body and was the master key itself. The system of Ratatoskr that protected Elvenheim and the world tree would play a supporting role rather than interfere with Mitra.

    If Theodore had any regrets in this situation, it was one thing.

    "Tch, that blue worm isn't coming?" Veronica leaned against a nearby wall and brought up the topic he had been thinking about.

    Sea Dragon Aquilo-she was a member of the strongest species in the material world and connected to Theodore through the blood imprint. In some ways, she was a perfect fit for this battle. However, Aquilo remained silent to this call. This silence was different from 'rejection.'

    "...I've called several times, but there isn't an answer. She isn't the type of person who would just ignore someone, is she?"

    "That is true. Did something happen?"

    "I don't know. She might just be in a distant place. For now, we have to take it as she won't help."

    Veronica pouted and grumbled, "I didn't want to use dog poop in medicine, so this is better."

    It was natural when facing each other, but Veronica seemed uncomfortable right now for some reason. Was it because there weren't many people equal to her? Aquilo's strength and personality made her a visible presence to Veronica. She didn't refuse it when asked about having Aquilo present, but it wasn't a relationship where they could be friends. Anyway, Aquilo's help wasn't going to come.

    After a while, the two elves arrived in the backyard of the palace.

    "Benefactor! You are already here."

    "...What is this magic circle?"

    Edwin's movements seemed a bit unstable because of his empty left arm socket, but there seemed to be no major problems. It was the same for Ellaim. He had no problems with breathing despite there still being a bandage around his neck. They suffered serious injuries, but the masters weren't fragile enough to be harmed by the recoil of Teleport.

    Theodore greeted the two elves and stood in the magic circle. "Sir Edwin, please stand inside the ellipse drawn on the left. Sir Ellaim, please stand on the other side."

    "I understand."

    "Veronica..."

    "You don't need to say it. This spot?"

    An 8th circle magician wasn't something that could be reached with magic power and talent alone. He didn't need to explain the magic circle to Veronica as she stood where she was supposed to. Theodore saved a bit of time with that and immediately poured magic power into Teleport. The light of the magic circle grew stronger, and the backyard was covered with an intense magic light.

    Huuuuuuong!

    Unlike the last time, there was no farewell. The matter of Nídhöggur and the revival of a 9th circle warlock was still being kept confidential, with only the king and tower masters knowing. It was better to hide it completely than to cause chaos, especially when the Magic Society would be of no help.

    It was the same reason why they were concealing the trip to Elvenheim.

    'From now on, I can't expect any more reinforcements.'

    Theodore pushed aside the post-war complications and opened his mouth, "Now, I will get started. Mitra."

    [Hoing! I'll try hard!]

    In order for this space movement to work, Mitra's role was the most important. Mitra sat on Theodore's head and opened her arms wide, the sprout on her head spinning like a pinwheel.

    Moving from point to point was several times slower than moving along a line. Considering the obstacles of the Red Plateau and the barriers around the Great Forest, the success rate was close to zero. It was a difficult task that even Orta could only try after reaching the 8th circle.

    However, Theodore had a helper. It was the neural network called Ratatoskr that was widely spread through the Great Forest. Once the magic circle reached its limit, Theodore didn't miss the moment and used Dragon Words.

    "「 лес, отвечать (Forest, reply)! 」" Theodore's voice reached the northern Great Forest, which was hundreds of kilometers away.

    It might've ended here if it was a normal voice. Nature wasn't something that humans could command. However, Theodore's command was made with Dragon Words, and the consciousness of the world tree, that was not yet mature, responded to it. The huge mana of the Great Forest stirred, and a few roots stretched out to the magic circle far away.

    Kiiiing-!

    It connected, while a sharp voice stabbed at Theodore's mind.

    -Who are you? How dare you intrude unauthorized into this neural network!

    -If you don't identify yourself, you will be blocked immediately.

    -...Noisy...

    Theodore smiled despite the noise causing a headache. The voices were familiar. In order, they were Alucard, Lumia, and Naia. Ellenoa and Alisa couldn't be heard, but they weren't always connected to the neural network. They were either sleeping or doing other work.

    'It has been a long time everyone,' he spoke lightly.

    -This voice is...! T-Theodore?

    -Oh, my. Theodore? You came back quickly.

    -...He... not... intruder... sleep, again...

    The reactions were unique.  Theodore waited for the excitement of the elves to settle and then spoke, 'I'm not there yet, Lumia.'

    -Huh? What does that...

    'I established this connection in order to arrive.'

    Theodore explained why he had connected this magic circle with Ratatoskr. It wasn't difficult to take the initiative with Dragon Words, but there was no reason to. They owed him for the last battle. Indeed, the high elves easily accepted his request.

    -Hrmm, it is fine if it is you.

    -I'll allow it if you come to see me.

    -...A...gree...

    There were no worries that Theodore might hold malicious intentions. Simultaneously, the paused connection with Ratatoskr resumed, and the entire magic circle was surrounded by a strong light. The two space coordinates were established, and the flash of light was so bright that their eyes couldn't see.

    Flash!

    After the light disappeared, no one remained in the palace's backyard. There were only the traces of the magic circle, the burnt marks of strange shapes.

    *     *     *

    There was a light that seemed to blind eyes. Theodore shed a few tears as he looked around with still blurry eyes. Fortunately, his vision soon recovered. The objects before him became clear, and the tingling of his eyes soon disappeared. Was it the effect of using an excessive amount of magic power in a short period of time? Next time, he would need to make a few more adjustments.

    '...Well, it seems like we have properly arrived at our destination.'

    He could figure it out even though his surroundings were just blurry shapes. Trees of this height couldn't be found anywhere other than in the Great Forest, and the shadow of the world tree was rising above the clouds on the horizon. What about everyone else?

    Theodore turned his head and saw Veronica and the two elves rubbing their eyes.

    "It looks good. Let's take a break here and start when we are in good shape."

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    "...Excuse me, everyone?"

    There were no replies. Veronica, Edwin, and Ellaim were staring in Theodore's direction with blank expressions. To be precise, they were staring at Theodore's head. He wondered what they were looking at when he felt a startling sense of weight on his neck.

    "Eh?"

    It was like the weight of a child! Theodore turned his head in confusion and saw a pair of eyes gazing at him. He saw smooth earthy skin and brown eyes. She had a childlike face but still several years more mature than what he recalled. Was she around 10 years old or so? Her small legs hung naturally over his neck toward his chest as she sat on his shoulders.

    Theodore called out her name with disbelief, "...Mitra?"

    The girl smiled widely and replied with pronunciation that was much better than it had been just a while ago, [Yes! Mitra!]

    "Hah."

    'Who am I? Where am I?'

    Mitra jumped down from the neck of the confused Theodore. Her height was still below one meter despite growing. The girl of the earth wore a blue-grey dress and danced around. Her strength also felt quite powerful. It felt equivalent to that of the upper elementals Edwin summoned.

    'Her strength has more than doubled? Why all of a sudden...?'

    An ancient elemental might be beyond common sense. However, this growth was strange. Was it due to connecting to Ratatoskr for a while? Theodore was feeling troubled by the growth when Mitra cried out.

    [Open, hooing!] Mitra pointed to the forest and gave it a command. Then the bushes and tree roots moved like the Great Forest was opening its mouth. It was a feat that Ellenoa had shown when Theodore visited Elvenheim in the past.

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    This time, all four people were speechless as they gazed at the triumphant Mitra. They didn't know why, but Mitra seemed to have equal or more power than the high elves in the Great Forest.
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