The Archmage’s Reincarnation in the Hero’s Party chapter 1

Episode 1. Prologue.

In the year I turned thirteen, a hero came to visit me at the Mage Tower. She was a beauty with snow-white hair and golden eyes.

“Word has it you’re a genius magician of the century, but who would’ve thought you’d be such a cute little kid?”

At that time, I remember I was silently engaged in organizing books.

“Excuse me…?”

“…”

“Hello…?”

It wasn’t that I was intentionally ignoring her; I just had a lot on my mind.

“I’m neither a genius nor a little kid. I have a name, it’s Rin.”

As I replied, feeling slightly sorry for her while shelving books, her face bloomed into a bright smile, and thereafter, she followed me around like a puppy.

“Lies! A four-star mage at thirteen? There’s no precedent for that in the Empire’s history.”

“…”

“And with such a small stature, you definitely fit the description of a kiddo! What, should I treat you as an adult? Though you still look like someone who should be wearing diapers! If you join our party, I’ll change them for you every day!”

Then she covered her mouth and giggled. What a funny woman. To think such a person could be a hero—it’s like the end of the world. Actually, it could really be the end of times.

I remember I chuckled slightly.

And strangely enough, she smiled even brighter than me when I did.

“Now you’re smiling…?”

That’s when I became intrigued. Such peculiar humans existed, and while I rarely took interest in people, she caught my attention.

“My name is Lista Alter Schurfang. I’m the FakeWarrior of the Luminous Dragon Church.”

The world was entering summer, and as an abyss had arisen in Antarctica, she said they needed my help.

It was, in short, a hero’s party.

There were two other notable members.

Kies of the Sacred Human Empire’s Ministry of Bowstars and Fride, the Oracle of the Dragon Republic’s Flame Dragon.

“I don’t want to die.”

“No one wants to die.”

“Are the other two as amusing as Lista?”

At that, Lista touched her cheek with a finger, seemed lost in thought for a moment, then replied with an odd comment.

“Those two are crazies in their own right… But there’s something even more fun.”

“What is it?”

When I showed interest, Lista smiled as if she was sharing a teenage secret.

“The world.”

The world.

That word resonated oddly for me, who had been picked up by the Dean from the slums and had lived in the Mage Tower since.

So, I joined the party.

Kies was a mute archer whose accuracy plummeted if he didn’t drink, and Fride, despite being an oracle, was a heavy smoker who frequently lit up.

“As the Oracle of the Flame Dragon, shouldn’t you at least be able to breathe fire?”

While she blew smoke in my face and cackled madly, both of them proved their worth with undeniable skill, and we made quite the progress.

We fought for five years. During that time, Lista would tease me and say,

“Rin, you must never fall for me, okay?”

“Rin, would you like to travel with me after this all ends?”

“Rin, you’re so pure I worry you’ll be deceived by other girls later.”

And so, five years went by…

Now, on the eve of the final battle, I was succumbing to a soul-corroding Dark Poison, with not long to live.

“Rin, stay with me, Rin, please… Fride, what are you doing!”

“Lista, the poison is too strong.”

Fride was crying.

“I can’t even… you might… die.”

“I won’t die, who’s going to die!”

“I don’t want to die…”

“I know, I won’t let you die. Just hang on.”

Coughing up coagulated blood, I lifted my clothes with a discoloring, darkening hand to show my chest.

Lord’s Petty Reversal Enchantment.

Over four years of research had culminated in this transcribed incantation for immortality on my heart.

“No… that’s why, I crafted the spell…”

A magic that froze the body completely, forcing it into hibernation, then using healing amplification charms and holy verses to fully recover.

If everything went according to my calculations.

Of course, I didn’t know how long it would take. Maybe I would remain hibernated for life. But it was a necessary measure.

“I will return… So win…”

With only moments of life left, as I started the spell, ice began to envelop my body from the toes upward.

Lista, tears streaking her face, held my hand tightly.

“You promised, Rin. You promised to meet again, to come back, right?”

Lista was pretty when she smiled. But now, I thought, perhaps she was even more beautiful crying.

“The four of us, together… Let’s go see the world when I wake up. Understand…? I’ll wait by your side until then.”

The ice, the chill of death crawled up my body. My shins, thighs, pelvis, back, neck…

I managed a powerless smile, just like when I first met Lista at the tower.

“Yeah, I promise.”

And my consciousness slipped into the cold abyss. Sinking into a tepid swamp with a faint sense of buoyancy and emptiness…

A strange longing remained for death.

Perhaps I wanted to see the end of the Empire’s grand seven-star magical system. Maybe I wanted to travel through this vast world with my party members…

Darkness.

Darkness.

Darkness.

Darkness.

Darkness.

As I struggled in the darkness like a baby, suddenly, my eyelids were lifted.

Warm sunshine.

And the refreshing spring breeze.

The vital energies tenderly caressed my entire body.

“Rin, are you okay?”

As I blinked dumbfounded, my mother held my shoulder. Instinctively, that thought crossed my mind, and I felt disoriented.

Mother?

Did I have a mother…?

I was an orphan, wasn’t I?

Golden light flooded my vision, the scorching heat of the southern lands and the wretched cries from the abyss were nowhere to be heard…

Where am I…?

In the depths of my mind, the memories of Lynn, who died at eighteen, and those of nine-year-old Lain were chaotically entangled.

“This place is…”

“This is the Hero Square of the Papal States. The statue here was erected to commemorate the Lysta Party. Why, do you not like it?”

I quietly looked up at the statue, weathered by the passage of countless years. It was a face I knew all too well.

The warrior, Lysta.

The archer, Kies.

The shrine maiden, Friede.

And me… Lynn.

From deep within my heart, a pain defined by sorrow surged up painfully. On the pedestal, an inscription solemnly carved recounted the flow of time throughout the endless eras.

[Lysta: 1082 ~ 1116]

[Kies: 1076 ~ 1154]

[Friede: 1079 ~ 1168]

[Lynn: 1090 ~ 1107]

They’re all dead…?

Considering the shortened lifespan of a Faquir with enhanced strength through body modification, Lysta’s death was somewhat expected.

I tried to accept it.

“Mother, what year is it now?”

“Why so formal all of a sudden, dear child? Don’t do that; it’s scary.”

“What year is it?”

“It’s the year 1418 by the Tersian calendar.”

1418…?

In short, it appeared I had awakened again in a time about 300 years beyond the era in which Lynn had lived.

Whether I was reborn or memories had overlaid themselves…

It felt like an indescribable nightmare. To be in an era 300 years removed from the laughter of Lysta, the drunken antics of Kies, and the smoke of Friede’s cigarettes.

“Did we win?”

It was a meaningless question.

We must have won since the statue was erected, and that must be why the sky is so peaceful now.

“Do you see that tower of the Papal States? They say the body of the great sorceress Lynn is still there, completely frozen in its former state.”

“Is that so?”

“And they say Lysta stayed by her side until the day she died. Isn’t it a beautifully tragic connection?”

It was a ridiculous thing.

For me, the decisive battle felt like it was just a moment ago, yet here we were talking about a tale from hundreds of years past.

“Why are you laughing? It’s a sad story.”

“Just… thinking about how a real promise was kept.”

I had just made that promise, still holding tightly onto my right hand, the touch of which remained vivid…

“Lain?”

My mother looked puzzled, as if she did not understand what I was saying.

“But someone couldn’t keep their promise.”

I muttered while caressing the inscriptions on the pedestal, and hot streams of tears flowed down my cheeks—silent and powerless.

“I couldn’t keep it…”

* * *

How the three of them wrote about me, by now, I had become an enormously celebrated figure in history.

An Elemental Master.

A master of multiple computations.

I received an enormous bounty and a plaque of gratitude from the Emperor of the Divine Human Empire; many magic towers and magical families depicted me like a saint.

A mere honorary title, the 11th Great Sorcerer.

In the long span of 300 years, only one more Grand Sorcerer after me had reached the five-star ranking, and currently, the position was vacant.

‘Now, really, there’s nothing left.’

I thought blankly.

The only thing left for me was magic.

Not only the memories of my many travels, but also the laughter of my bright companions within those memories, had turned from recollections to mere legends of old tales.

Lysta often told me that memories are only memories when you can share them with someone.

Hence, the memories I hold are not truly memories.

Until the day I die.

They will be unanswered echoes I must carry alone.

‘I remember feeling regretful about not reaching the pinnacle of magic before I died.’

The Divine Human Empire had systematized vast amounts of magic into the ‘Empire’s Seven-Star Magic System.’

1-Star: Ordinary magicians, Bandorans.

2-Star: Intermediate magicians, Limitess.

3-Star: Advanced magicians, Atlass.

4-Star: Supreme magicians, Glados.

5-Star: Grand Sorcerers, Aquizard.

I had achieved the state of a five-star sorcerer, but from six-star onwards, one was called a sage—an advanced realm only two had ever reached in the empire’s history.

‘Had I not followed Lysta, perhaps I could have reached the six-star realm before old age.’

But for sure, I would have had regrets.

Even if I could turn back time, I would travel with her over and over again.

‘But now, Lysta is no more…’

Then let’s make true the dreams I couldn’t fulfill in my past life in this one.

‘This life is to witness the Truth.’

It is said that those who reach the end of magic and see the Truth can see all facets of the world.

– I wish this world were full of laughter.

Lysta had said so.

Whether the world we desperately protected together still looks the same now, I shall look at it with the eyes of Truth.

Therefore, let’s do our best.

To forget this stabbing grief and emptiness, let’s whip ourselves into action.

Before leaving the square.

I looked up at the statues one last time, slowly closed my eyes, and recalled those unanswered echoes.

– Lynn, over here! Look at this flower!

Lysta.

And Friede.

– It’s too romantic a flower garden for someone uncharming like Lynn.

Kies, who couldn’t speak, always expressed his feelings by stroking my head.

– Better to read another book of magic than to see this. What’s so good about it…

And I, who always retorted, though in truth, I found our journey together… so very enjoyable.

“Lysta, Kies, Friede.”

I savored their names in silence, praying my voice would reach their souls before bidding a final farewell.

“Farewell, now…”

The dead remain in the past.

As the living cannot reverse the flow of time, they must move forward to the future.

I persuaded my feet, which refused to leave.

And thus my second life began.



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