Chapter 123 – Double Crisis (4)
When Artpe opened the magic tome, it let out a soft light. It started to manifest its Mana in a specific direction.
Since he had re-written the tome with his hands, he had secured a link with it.
He connected that link to the magic circle. The light being emitted by the magic tome and the magic circle started to mix. The equilibrium that was created was quite mysterious.
When Aria realized that Artpe’s Mana was connected to the magic circle, she looked at him in surprise. Artpe wasn’t just simply meddling with the magic circle. He possessed clear authority over the magic circle, and he was changing the magic circle’s magic.
Yes, he had no reason to hide this now.
When he poured in his Mana to register with the Warp Gate, he had gained administration rights to anything related to the temple. He also had a degree of authority over the magic circle. If Aria and Silpennon hadn’t been discovered by the pope, he would have resolved everything using this.
Of course, there had been a catch. It wasn’t just about killing the Four Heavenly King. The key issue was finding a way that would allow everyone to level up as much as possible in the process of killing the Four Heavenly King. This mainly applied to Silppenon and the holy priestess Aria. Later on, the holy priestess Aria was added into this group.
The last part of his plan had gone awry. If he took that part out, everything had progressed very splendidly.
“H…how is this possible…..”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m going to cancel the Summoning spell, so you just have to maximize your Assimilation ability from now on.”
“It’s all right. There is something I’ve prepared for this moment.”
The magic tome let out a light. The pages started to flip on its own. Artpe’s eyes became very withdrawn as he looked at the magic tome.
He was thinking about his past experiences. He thought about the times when he had to guide Sherryl and Sienna. Then there was the time where he extracted Demonic energy from the Demon Tiana…… He consolidated his experience through the magic tome, and he created a spell. He transferred the spell into the magic circle.
The rampaging magic circle felt a new order come in. There was unyielding firmness behind the order, so the magic circle couldn’t resist. It started changing the shape of its magic!
“Nope. You have no role this time. You should just go over there and suck on the Demonic energy from the corpse of the Four Heavenly King.”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa!]
‘I went out of my way to worry about you, yet you give me such a cold reply!’
The enraged Roa slapped Artpe’s hand with her tail, then she headed towards the corpse of the Four Heavenly King Jariet.
However, Artpe was focused on the magic tome. He didn’t even realize that Roa had left him. His eyes were quickly reading the magic tome. If he wanted to increase the performance of the magic being created by the magic tome, he had to be mindful of his memorization of the spell. He also had to worry about his role in chanting the spell. It would allow him control the magic circle with ease.
“Why are you calling my name? …..all right. I’ll be there.”
Aria was desperately maintaining her Assimilation ability, yet she couldn’t hide the apprehension she was feeling. Silpennon had just escaped the ‘growing pains’ of his relationship with Aria. He couldn’t win against Aria’s gaze, so he cleared his throat as he approached her. When Maetel saw this, she let out a light laughter. Vadinet looked worried.
“She already has someone she loves…. Oh no. What should I do? If I don’t inform that girl……”
While Vadinet was struggling with a baseless worry, the Mana of the magic circle rose. As if it was trying to match the magic circle, the magic tome started letting out a stronger light.
“Aria, are you able to widen the domain of your Assimilation ability?”
“M…my mind and body is at its limit just restraining a portion of the magic circle….”
“You don’t have to worry about that anymore. Just tell me if it is possible or not.”
“I…it is possible.”
When Artpe heard those words, he immediately grinned. He increased the output of the magic tome, and he shouted out loud.
“You should imagine yourself sucking in all the Mana of magic circle as you use your Assimilation! You should no longer pay any attention to the Demonic energy within the magic circle!”
“······I’ll believe in you!”
She had been chosen as a holy priestess only moment ago. She acted like a holy priestess. Aria nodded towards Artpe. She spoke with conviction. Until now, Aria had restricted her Assimilation ability. She maxed out her Assimilation ability.
Her ability to control her Innate ability was on par with Maetel and Artpe! In a flash, her Assimilation ability expanded past the magic circle and the Zero Class. Her Mana assimilated with the magic circles equipped all over Lihazeta.
The Mana, which had run amok under the machination of Jariet, and the Record of the magic circle rushed into her!
“Now! Lastly……! Materialization!”
Demonic energy and all kinds of energy overwhelmed the holy priestess. She was in danger of losing her status as a holy priestess. However, an explosive light shot out from the magic tome, which was being held up by Artpe’s hand. It paralyzed everything nearby. The Mana of the magic circle took on a specific characteristic thanks to the Materialization spell. The Mana formed another small magic circle in the air!
“Aria! Hey! My hand! My hand hurts! Hey!”
It was done.
From within the blinding explosion of light, Artpe let out a small sigh as he closed the magic tome.
It had lasted a brief moment, but he had use all of his power in manifesting the spell. Of course, he was tired.
“It is done.”
The one to be surprised the most was none other than Maetel.
“It is already done, Artpe? I thought you were going to struggle with it for a very long time!”
“It is tiresome, but the Demon King’s army always uses the same pattern. It’s about time that I’m able to easily dispose of their antics.”
When the light dispersed, the sight of Aria bound in the middle of the magic circle was seen. No, the magic circle no longer existed. It was just Aria. It was hard to put a finger on it, but she was letting out a somewhat noble aura.
“Ah. The probability of us using the magic circle to our advantage was lower than the probability of the Demon King’s army using it to their advantage in the future. That is why I got rid of it”
“You got rid of it….. It was a magic that contained several hundred years worth of history and Record. You got rid of it so easily!?”
“Yes. I split it half-and-half between the magic tome and Aria.”
The magic circle wasn’t some boiled daikon that could be split easily into halves! It made no sense!
Artpe left behind the shocked Vadinet. He headed towards Aria. She remained sitting in what used to be the center of the absent magic circle.
She had used her Innate ability in excess, so she didn’t have the strength to move even a single finger. She was leaning against Silpennon, and she was gasping.
“You leveled up too much all at once, so that is why you are having a difficult time. Still, it won’t have any negative effects on your body, so you can breathe easy.”
“Thank you very much…..for helping me…..”
This was obvious, but there wasn’t a single trace of Demonic energy within Aria’s body. Jeriet’s intention had been to use her as a sacrifice to summon magical beasts. However, at some point, the possibility of her descending into becoming a Demon had become a real possibility. Artpe had used his magic tome to reverse the Demonic energy. Lastly, he used his Materialization spell to push all of the reversed energy into Aria.
[Aria Kuar Serieta]
[Level : 231]
The result of his actions was a ridiculous amount of level ups.
“She leveled up too much? Artpe, what do you mean?”
“What do you think I mean? Aria became higher in level than you.”
“What are you saying!?”
“I just explained it to you, you dork!”
In growth, the most important requirements needed was Mana and Record. Most people achieved this growth when they harmed other beings or when they accomplished an Achievement.
Aria had been in a very special situation. She had received an overwhelming amount of Mana and Record from the magic circle, so it had been possible for her to achieve such explosive growth.
The level of Artpe and Maetel was so high that Aria’s level looked low in comparison. However, she was much higher in level compared to the thief Silpennon. Silpennon had followed Artpe’s recipe for past two years, and he was considered to be a genius thief. Now Aria was clearly above him.
“Artpe, did you intend on growing this girl from the beginning······?”
“No. However, instead of wasting the Mana, I thought it would be best to help develop a rising prospect. Since she was already assimilating the magic circle using her Assimilation ability, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.”
Maetel was baffled. She was at a loss for words.
If Maetel knew what the magic circle had been used in their past lives, she would have understood why he had done this!
“Silpennon. Aria should be very tired. You should take her, so she can rest. The city is probably in a mess. We have to go patch up the situation.”
“Why do I have to do that? What I meant to say is….. Aria is the second holy priestess. She’ll be traveling with you guys, so it would be best if she appears next to you in front of the people.”
When Silpennon said those words, Aria unconsciously clamped down on Silpennon’s forearm. When Artpe saw this, he grinned.
“Aria is in your party. Our party already has Vadinet.”
“However, the duty of the holy priestess is to support the hero….. Ah, it hurts!”
Artpe understood Aria’s heart. Silpennon was being dense, and Aria looked like she was about to cry. At that moment, Vadinet interrupted them. She was very flustered.
“I…I’m sorry, Artpe-nim. I know I am not qualified to intertere with Artpe-nim’s judgement and actions, but….. She is a holy priestess, and she cannot do what you propose.”
“The holy priestess exists to support the hero. Moreover, the holy priestess is inextricably tied to the hero! If Aria hadn’t become a holy priestess, it wouldn’t have been a problem. However, she is a holy priestess that possesses the golden eyes. If she chooses someone else other than the hero…..”
“Ah······ So that is what you wanted to say. Mmm. How should I say this…. All right.”
After hearing Vadinet’s words, Artpe thought for a very brief amount of time. In the end, he nodded his head after he came to a decision.
“Vadinet, you are under a huge delusion.”
Everything that was said by Vadinet was a fantasy. Her delusions didn’t make any sense, and he decided to break those delusions with his mouth.
“It doesn’t matter if it is the holy priestess or the hero. It is just a Class one possesses. There is no rights and duties attached to it.”
“Let me put it another way.”
Artpe put on a smile as he spoke.
“I’m talking about the rule that says the holy priestess must be in the same party as the hero. I’m also talking about the rule that says a holy priestess cannot mate with another man other than the hero…… These are all delusions that were made up in the past.”
Vadinet was struck dumb. Aria couldn’t hide the relief she was feeling. Silpennon still had no idea what was going on.
It seemed Maetel was the only one that had the complete understanding of the situation. She could only snicker. At such moments, he felt a disparity between this Maetel and the normal Maetel.
“S…so……. I’m allowed to love someone other than hero-nim?”
“Of course. It’s the truth. If you see Aria right now……”
Artpe had been about reveal Aria’s pure heart in such an unceremonious manner. Aria yelled loudly to shut him up. She had been unable to move even a finger a moment ago. It seemed she had recovered a good deal of her energy.
Artpe smirked as he confirmed the truth with Vadinet.
“It doesn’t matter if the holy priestess kisses, sleeps or bears the child of another man. The gods won’t punish the holy priestess. Holy priestesses are already burdened with many responsibilities, so why would the gods try to control the emotions of a holy priestess? If such a god existed, he would be a Demonic god instead of a god.”
“My god······ That means I’ve been under a ridiculous delusion…..”
Vadinet lowered her head. It meant that she had accepted Artpe’s words as the truth. Of course, if she had been told this earlier, Artpe’s words wouldn’t have been as effective.
However, there truly were two heroes, and now a second priestess had made an appearance. She had witnessed the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King take on the visage of the pope, and he had been easily killed by Artpe’s party. Everything that had occurred had torn down what she had considered to be common sense. This was why a crack had formed in her firm sense of self.
On top of that, she had absolute trust in Artpe, and he had pretty much taken a hammer to that cracked sense of self. It would have been strange if it hadn’t crumbled!
In the next moment, Vadinet raised her head. Her expression didn’t look dark. Instead, it felt as if her face was shining.
“Until now, I thought I had loved Artpe-nim, because I was the holy priestess.”
“Artpe, may I kill that woman?”
“You may not.”
“However, it wasn’t like that at all.”
Her intro was ominous, so he was thinking about stopping her right there. Unfortunately, Vadinet’s words were faster than his.
“I’ve fallen for you! Not as a holy priestess! I’m just simply in love with you!”
“Ah ah. Somehow, I feel much better! That’s right. Is this why people call this fate…..?!”
Her eyes started letting out a brilliant golden light. It was powerful enough to be on par with the newly named holy priestess!
Artpe had been worried things would somehow turn out like this, so he froze in place. He was like a statue. Maetel unsheathed her bastard sword. Aria had become extremely embarrassed even though the other holy priestess had expressed her love in no uncertain terms.
“You son of a bitch! Why don’t you just take every woman of this world for yourself!”
Silpennon was still very dense, and he didn’t have any common sense. Artpe didn’t know why Silpennon had to bring up this topic right now. Silpennon just continued to curse him.