The Book Eating Magician - Chapter 301
Chapter 301 - Hall of Fame (1)
Theodore appeared with a flash of light. As soon as he escaped from the teleport blockade, he moved from the halls of the palace to his private room.
He didn't want to walk around, but neither did he feel so tired that he wanted to lie down in bed right away. If it was as Kurt explained, no one would know that Theodore had already woken up. In that case, there was no need for him to cause a disturbance.
'I am worried about Sylvia and Master, but... His Majesty would've told me if something has happened to them.'
In Meltor, information could no longer be hidden or limited restricted to Theodore. Kurt knew this, so wasn't it impossible for him to hide news about Theo's people? It was right to think that nothing had happened in the meantime.
Theodore sat in his chair and requested, ’’Explain the feature called the Hall of Fame.’’
He had read the message a few times, but all it said was 'learn the accumulated knowledge of magicians using achievement points.' How could he learn it and what was included? He was forced to ask Gluttony directly.
-Okay. Unsurprisingly, Gluttony replied like it had been waiting. -As implied by the name, the Hall of Fame is a special function that exists to preserve the souls of memorable or worthy magicians. This feature applies to writers of books eaten by all users, from the Age of Mythology to present day. Only the most brilliant and outstanding ones are eligible for this function.
’’...Since the Age of Mythology?’’
-That's right. There is a magician who pulled an asteroid from outer space, and there's also a magician who made an underwater city at the bottom of the sea. Every single one of them has made a mark in the history of magic.
Meteor fall was a catastrophe which had been unintentionally caused by a great magician whilst exploring the sea of stars. The legendary underwater city known as Atlantis... Records said it was an island which had been sunk by the hands of Atlas during the Age of Mythology.
Some of the magicians were wicked, and others were good. However, their alignment didn't matter. Gluttony only cared about the magic. Thus, he collected the souls of over 100 great magicians. Sometimes, they were the enemies of his user. There were other times when they were disciples or heroes who fought on the battlefield together.
The Hall of Fame was like Gluttony's history built over thousands of years, maybe longer.
Theodore asked without hiding his surprise, ’’I can learn from them directly?’’
-If you want. It is also possible to receive their assistance if you have enough achievement points.
’’Assistance? Is it similar to the one question one answer function?’’
-The question and answer is the most basic assistance, Gluttony gave a vague answer. Then it made a direct suggestion, -It is quicker to experience it once. How about it?
-Yes. You don't seem to have anything to do. If I am mistaken, I will apologize.
Theodore was a little worried, but his hesitation was brief. This was something he had to experience once, and it was hard for him to leave the room right now. He got up from the chair and moved to the bed before giving an answer. After all, be it Synchro or the Library, he had lost consciousness every time he used Gluttony's functions.
’’Okay, I will try it once.’’
-A wise decision.
Gluttony moved at Theodore's consent.
[At User's request, the Hall of Fame has opened.]
[User currently has 157,329 achievement points.]
[Reconstructing the list of the Hall of Fame... Complete. The structure has been fixed in the form of a 'gallery', according to the user's recognition structure. There are three frames registered by User.]
[Connecting to the Hall of Fame.]
Theodore felt his consciousness being sucked away as always. Behind his eyelids, his spirit was being drawn into the hole on his left palm. The connection with his five senses faded, and the distinction between reality and his consciousness blurred. He was sucked into the vortex of irresistible attraction―
...Or he should have been.
'Uh, aren't I enduring well?'
Unlike before, Theodore remained conscious.
'Is it because I reached the 8th circle? If I go this way, I can enter Gluttony...'
Not long after that, Theodore clenched his teeth and prepared for the dizziness. Then his consciousness was sucked into Gluttony's vortex.
Kiiiing-! There was a sharp noise ringing in the mental world, where there was no concept of sound. Simultaneously, a wave of dizziness came over him. Theodore was stunned, dizzy, and then nauseous. Even so, he patiently endured it for a few minutes. Finally, the dizziness stopped. Theodore opened his tightly closed eyes and looked around.
Then he became thrilled.
[Is this the universe inside of Gluttony?]
There was a sea of endless darkness filled with shiny beads of light like the stars in the night sky. It was a huge and desolate universe. These were the words of old scholars: The sky, the earth, and the universe were wide and rough. If the study of magic touched the world, then the universe was waiting at the final destination.
Theodore refuse to imagine the end of the world that was infinitely expanding even now. It was a spectacular universe inside the grimoire, Gluttony of the Seven Sins.
-Hoh, you didn't lose consciousness. Gluttony recognized him. -If you look at it every day, you'll get no inspiration. But the first impression is the same for any user. Civilization as well. Once you observe it, you have no choice but to pursue it. Regardless of whether it is magic or science, there is nothing in history that hasn't challenged the universe. User, Theodore Miller, are you the same as the prophets?
[...I am a bit ashamed, but I can't deny it.]
Theodore's heart was beating rapidly. He'd thought that pursuing a dream was purely a privilege of childhood, but now a new fire was burning in Theodore's heart. A magician with eight circles could destroy a kingdom. However, even they weren't qualified to leave this earth and challenge the universe. Only a person who had become a true transcendent by completing nine circles, the circles beyond the frame of life, could qualify.
'Per ardua ad astra (Through adversity to the stars),' Theodore recalled an old saying he'd heard somewhere and clenched his fists.
-Here we are.
At that moment, gravity returned to Theodore's body.
’’Wah!’’ Theodore stumbled a few steps due to the sudden change and opened his eyes after barely regaining his balance. ’’...This place.’’
In a simple word, it was a corridor. A gentle light shone from the lamps on the wall, and the passage was a straight path. There was a red carpet at his feet as he took careful steps. It was a landscape that could be present in a royal palace, but Theodore found a strange point.
Countless portraits hung along the corridor at regular intervals.
’’Simon Magus... Georg Faust... Aleister Crowley...?’’
There were nameplates at the bottom of the portraits lined up on the left and right. Even if he knew the history of the Age of Mythology, the great people who played active roles in that era were unknown. Theodore only knew about Surtr, the owner of Laevateinn and Paracelsus.
-You can touch it if you want.
Theodore reached out a finger according to Gluttony's words.
[Would you like to open Aleister Crowley? 48,316 points will be consumed to awaken this soul.]
’’4-48,000?’’ Theodore panicked at the absurd number and let go, causing the message to disappear without a trace. If he thought about a grimoire that was worth 70,000 points, this was a truly ridiculous cost.
Then Gluttony chuckled and said, -I'm sorry, but this is just at an ordinary level, User. Simon Magus next to him requires 150,000 points to wake up.
’’What? What type of magician is he?’’
-He was the peak of gnosticism. He died in the challenge of the 10th circle, but his capabilities are considered within the top three inside this Hall of Fame.
Theodore gulped involuntarily. He didn't know who Simon Magus was, but Gluttony placed him within the top three despite having collected magicians for thousands of years? A monster that had reached the peak even during the Age of Mythology, where there were 100 grandmasters... He wasn't something that could be easily awakened with achievement points.
’’Eh?’’ At that moment, there were some portraits that caught Theodore's eyes. ’’...Why are these portraits shining?’’
The portrait before him wasn't reflecting the light. Rather, the frame itself was actually emitting light. Moreover, it wasn't just one. Theodore looked carefully at the contents of the portraits and staggered back. It wasn't because he discovered an unfamiliar face. On the contrary, it was because familiar faces welcomed him.
Gluttony confirmed Theodore's thoughts, -It is as you are thinking. These portraits are the souls personally collected by User.
From left to right, they were Heathcliff, Abe no Seimei, and Paracelsus. They were magicians worthy of being in the Hall of Fame.
’’The authors of the books I ate are here...’’ Theodore looked at the three portraits with a strange sentiment.
Meanwhile, Gluttony continued, -They don't need to be opened up separately, and it doesn't cost a big price to talk to them. It is also possible to get their help easier than other souls if you use achievement points.
’’Their help... For example?’’
-The lingering attachments left by great magicians like them are usually hard to solve. Furthermore, in the case of a unique ability, it is often impossible to learn even after completing Transmission. It is like Paracelsus' Discerning Eye, that is innate to him, or Heathcliff's Prophecy.
Theodore nodded. Their unique abilities were extraordinary and powerful. If he could borrow these abilities at will, it would be worth spending the achievement points.
'Ah, that reminds me.' Theodore looked at the portraits and remembered the past. 'When you have reached the boundary of a mortal, go once again to the world tree... Should I ask Paracelsus about that?'
Having gone from the 7th circle to the 8th circle, there was only one wall left to transcend. So, Theodore probably met the criteria now. He looked at Paracelsus' portrait. Paracelsus was a dignified and elegant magician with a white beard. However, there was an unquenchable curiosity and playfulness in his eyes.
'...No, it would be hard to hear a proper answer.' Theodore's intuition spoke to him. The hint that the old man gave Theodore previously was the only thing he would hear, so it wasn't worth wasting achievement points. Thus, Theodore stood in front of a different portrait and reached out a hand.
-User, will you receive his help?
-...I don't understand your intentions, but okay. I will approve the request and call the soul.
At the same time, several notification messages popped up.
[Heathcliff's soul has been called.]
[It is a soul directly collected by the user. A conversation with the soul won't consume any achievement points.]
The left hanging portrait shone, and the shadow of a man walked out. He was a middle-aged bearded man in white robes. It was the former master of the white tower and writer of the Book of Clouds, Heathcliff.
’’Ah, you called me.’’ He saw Theodore in front of him and his eyes widened. ’’...What? You've already reached the 8th circle? It isn't uncommon to be surpassed by juniors, but I never had that experience. I didn't know I would fall behind first.’’
’’Don't worry. My stomach is just slightly sick,’’ Heathcliff started the conversation with a silly joke before nodding calmly. ’’So? Why have you called me, Junior? You hardly need my help now with your skills.’’
’’If only that was the case.’’ Theodore had a purpose for calling Heathcliff. ’’I would like to request for Senior's specialty.’’
’’Hrmm, my specialty?’’
’’Yes.’’ Theodore took a deep breath and confronted Heathcliff's hazy eyes. ’’Please read the mysteries known only to heaven for me.’’