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Chapter 395 - Goodbye, Dear Friend (1)

    Chapter 395 - Goodbye, Dear Friend (1)

    In a silent and empty space, the cold wind of the northern hemisphere was blowing. Theodore looked up and around slowly.

    White... The whole world was a pure white because of a raging blizzard. Nevertheless, there was no problem recognizing where he was lying down.

    '...A crater?'

    The radius was approximately two kilometers wide. If he looked down from the sky, he would see a round pit. Theodore was precisely at the center of it.

    There was a clear reason for trepidation. One of the Seven Sins, Wrath had disappeared from this material world without a trace. However, look at this crater. It was a sign that the atmospheric pressure caused by Wrath's fall had reached several kilometers and dug at the ground.

    'If even a small fragment had reached the surface... A disaster at an irrevocable level would've occurred.'

    At that moment...

    -...User? Gluttony, who had fallen asleep for an unknown reason, opened his mouth.

    "Gluttony."

    -What happened? You were in space and just about to enter... It is strange. I don't remember what happened next. I seem to have forgotten something. Why is User here, and where did Wrath disappear to?

    Theodore grasped the situation. Somehow, Gluttony didn't have any memories of what happened after Theodore entered the Akashic Records. After struggling for a moment, Theodore changed his mind. Gluttony wasn't an opponent he could trick with flimsy lies. Theodore had been with Gluttony for a long time and knew that well.

    "In a few simple words, it was successful."

    -What?

    "Harmonization."

    Gluttony was muttering to itself when it stopped. -......

    There was just silence. It wasn't because Gluttony couldn't understand Theodore's words but that it couldn't accept them. This was more so because it was Gluttony. Numerous entities, including those who came to the material world, had challenged it countless times and had never been successful. This was the purpose of existence which none of the Seven Sins had ever achieved! Gluttony couldn't feel that it was real.

    -I-Is this true?

    "Yes."

    -User, this is Akasha you are talking about!

    "Yes? Ah, wait a minute. There is something I have to do before that."

    Theodore turned away from Gluttony's voice, which was trembling with amazement, and raised one hand, pointing it at the sky. Wrath had disappeared, but Theodore still needed to deal with the aftermath.

    'Hrmm, this is the feeling.' Theodore closed his eyes and focused on himself.

    A strange wisdom was boiling in his body. It was the power he had gained directly from the source, the fragment of the Akashic Records that had been brought back as a by-product of restoring his soul. This wasn't an ability to learn but the power to change magic. Nothing was impossible in front of his power.

    -What?

    The sky moved. The gigantic hole caused by Wrath falling was gradually being filled in. The cracks in the ozone layer recovered, and the atmosphere, which had been pushed away, returned. The darkness was lifted as the sky returned to normal. It took seven seconds. Theodore's hand lowered after fixing the sky of the northern hemisphere. This was enough, even if it wasn't perfect. As long as the damage wasn't too bad, the world's natural recovery ability would intervene.

    -Synchronizing with the planet's atmosphere...?! That needs a different level of understanding compared to interfering with the interstellar wind...!

    "I don't know even if you ask me. I just thought that things should be returned to what they were."

    Gluttony responded with even more surprise, -...Akasha gave you strength? That miser?

    "The miser spent money. Otherwise, I would be dead."

    -It is surprising. No, it is a profit beyond my imagination. I thought I would have to wait more than a thousand years. I never thought it would be shortened in this way.

    "A thousand years?" Theodore couldn't help asking.

    However, Gluttony didn't reply. Like always, the silence was unpleasant. There was an unknown atmosphere between the magician and grimoire that shared one body.

    -User, Gluttony opened its mouth a few minutes later and spoke to him, -I have something to suggest.

    "What is it?"

    -Why don't you release my 7th seal?

    Theodore's eyes widened at the unexpected words.

    -It is possible if it is User who has come back from Akasha. No, it would be easy. The amount of information accumulated in my body is nothing compared to Akasha.

    "...Synchronizing with your body is the 7th stage?"

    -That's right. My body that is scattered in many dimensions... Focus the power and information gathered by those terminals in one body. This is the sword that can capture Akasha's throne of omnipotence. This is my purpose!

    The words were shocking, but Theodore was able to accept them without much confusion. If Gluttony's final goal was the Akashic Records, then this process wasn't unusual. The aim of becoming something was common everywhere. It was no exception for the Seven Sins.

    -No one has succeeded. I thought I wouldn't be able to succeed. But User, you have defended yourself against the infinite vortex and can do it!

    Theodore measured it. He didn't know how much information was stored in Gluttony's main body, but he could faintly guess...

    It wasn't an impossible story, as Gluttony said. This was a chance to gain absolute power, even if it wasn't the Akashic Records. He also had a piece of Akashic's wisdom and would be able to place one or two galaxies below his feet. However, Theodore firmly rejected the proposal, "I don't want to."

    -W-What?

    "I don't want to. I won't release your seal."

    Gluttony was speechless. Then Theodore explained why he refused, "I can succeed as you said, but I also might fail. I'm not running away because I'm afraid to face the consequences. I just don't want this, so I am stopping my feet."

    -You don't want to progress?

    "Yes. I realized it after entering the Akashic Records. Moving on is irreversible. If I release your seal and move onto the next stage... I will have to leave this life."

    This was the biggest difference between Theodore Miller and the other investigators. He had no faith that he could do anything after becoming an omnipotent person. For instance, sacrificing his loved ones to become almighty... If he brought his lovers back to life after becoming omnipotent, had he lost anything?

    'This isn't true.'

    Even if his lovers didn't remember anything, the almighty being would remember the past and feel alone. He couldn't forget. As the incarnation of omniscience, anything forcibly forgotten would eventually rise up again. Therefore, those who had something to lose couldn't become almighty. An almighty being must be perfect. Therefore, they had to throw away the things which would grab their ankles on the way.

    -Don't weaken, User! Gluttony, however, dismissed it as feebleness. -One step ahead. Are you thinking of leaving the target before you alone? If you succeed, you can regain the life you gave up before. No, I am confident that it is possible! You can play with that prideful draconian or play with the sun and moon!

    "...That isn't good, Gluttony." Theodore let out a sigh. It was because he felt the boundaries of a perception that couldn't be overcome. "I am Theodore Miller, a husband who married three women and a father who will have a child... The most powerful magician in the current material world, the Chief Tower Master of Meltor. If nothing is left out, I am Theodore Miller."

    -So?

    "You heard it and still don't know. 'Now' won't come back if I unleash the seal. I'm not talking about time. 'I' won't come back."

    Theodore wasn't Gluttony or the Akashic Records. Would Theodore be the same as he was now if he made contact with a transcendent existence? He firmly believed it wouldn't be the case. Theodore understood it when he had an overwhelming view of humans. The 'price' of existence was too high, and he wouldn't be able to love a 'lower status' object. Even if he could feel something, it would be nothing but compassion or pity.

    "If I can reach it one day, I won't come back. Then isn't it better to cherish the present? That's why I will refuse your offer."

    -Trivial! Despite Theodore's long persuasion, Gluttony wasn't convinced. -The continuity of time is uncertain. Every minute that passes would decrease the clarity of information! You don't want to leave your life now? It is unlikely that User will remember these feelings. They won't last!

    "Well, I guess so."

    -...User!

    They had incompatible ideas. A line was drawn between Theodore and Gluttony, who shared one body. If one more step was taken, an irreversible line would be crossed.

    The first one to cross that line was Gluttony. -I will suggest it one more time, User. Release my stage 7 seal right now. If it isn't now, you won't be able to reach it! There is no guarantee that the opportunity to surpass Akasha will come again until the end of the universe!

    Theodore hesitated one beat before smiling bitterly. "I refuse."

    -...It is a pity. I wanted to maintain a good relationship with User.

    Then red eyes appeared in the palm of Theodore's left hand.

    -From now on, I will have to eat User?

    Simultaneously, Gluttony's mouth opened wide. It swallowed Theodore's wrist, elbow, and moved upward. The power of Gluttony, 'predation', was trying to devour its contractor.

    Seook.

    His left arm flew-Theodore's arm. Blood dripped down Soul Calibre in Theodore's right arm as new flesh, bones, and nerves grew from the severed left arm. Theodore had cut off his left arm as soon as Gluttony revealed itself as an enemy. It was a quick response.

    However, Gluttony chuckled rather than panicking at the action. -Didn't I already tell you, User? My contract is directly connected with you! There is no sense in cutting the connection point!

    "Let's see?" Theodore didn't raise a single eyebrow.

    Gluttony became startled as it belatedly realized an incongruity. -...N-No? Why is the contract broken?

    Theodore smiled bitterly at the panic. It was something Gluttony couldn't know. The moment Theodore accessed the Akashic Records, his soul had been shattered and reassembled.

    No matter how strong Gluttony's contract was, it couldn't remain with a shattered soul. As such, Theodore's left arm, which was the connection point, had been restored when his body was rebuilt. Therefore, Gluttony didn't know that the contract had been cut off. However, Theodore had been thinking of signing the contract again if Gluttony lost its greed.

    'But it's impossible.'

    The grimoire lost its sense of reason now that its purpose of existence was right in front of it. In the end, Theodore settled his thoughts and prepared for battle. Gluttony felt magic power rising and cried out, -User!

    "No more," Theodore spoke bitterly.

    There was a heavy silence for a moment before something like mud overflowed from the severed left arm containing Gluttony. The darkness which flowed from the left arm formed a body. The body's shape resembled Theodore. Apart from the red eyes, the body's height, hair, and skin were the same as Theodore's.

    The two beings faced each other in a snowstorm.

    -...Theodore Miller!

    The fight to finish the relationship between the two of them began.
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