The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 29

Episode 29

The man settled down at a table in front of a convenient street shop. When the clerk approached, he politely requested, “Two chicken skewers and a wheat coffee, please.”

“Cut to the chase, please. I’m a busy person; what is this all about?”

“I must have failed to explain. There’s no need to be on guard, pseudo-aristocrat. I’m not here to interrogate you about your reason for going to the black market.”

Those without their inherited territories yet were all called pseudo-aristocrats, or ‘위작’.

However, most people would normally address them more casually as ‘young master’ or ‘miss’… But this individual was peculiar, insisting on a formal tone with every phrase.

His constant smirking made it hard to read his expression, but one could tell the depth of his magical power was significant.

“Just get to the point.”

“Let me introduce myself first. I am Doran Slade, working in the Magic Federation’s Special Service Department.”

To prove his point, Doran took an iron pocket watch from his breast pocket and placed it on the table. The rune representing the Federation ‘盟’ was engraved in gold, while the term for special service ‘Dirutus’ was incised below it.

“If I may share something more personal, I was a junior clerk when the now Prefect Kayven Ludwick was the president of the student council. Oh, those were truly enjoyable times.”

“And your point is?”

“I’m telling you there’s no need to be wary. I’m on the side of the pseudo-aristocrats. There are just a few things I need to verify.”

As he spoke, Doran took the watch in hand, blowing off the dust that had settled on it.

“Is it true that you used a spell to capture the mutant queen that appeared in the Red Mountain Range, Ludwick pseudo-aristocrat?”

Rain raised an eyebrow momentarily.

This fellow’s skill in casually probing for the truth is no joke.

“Barth Party hasn’t visited a magic shop recently. Assuming he bought it earlier, there’s no seller. For the past ten years, there’s been no Glados (4-star) sorcerer capable of creating a flame magic scroll with that kind of power.”

“…!”

“So I asked if Prefect Scalgis Ludwick had created it for his grandchild’s self-defense, but it wasn’t the case. There’s only one conclusion left.”

Doran rested his chin on his interlocked hands, staring at Rain with a now smile-less gaze. His eyes were cold as a snake’s, suggesting he knew everything already.

“There was nothing to hide. There was just one thing worrying me. If you’re trying to blackmail me with that, you’ve completely missed the mark.”

“Worrying factors, ah, you don’t mean a dark sorcerer, do you?”

Rain inhaled sharply.

Does this guy know that the queen was being controlled by dark magic? Or is he just probing?

How long did that tense silence last before there was a sound of a hustle?

“Your chicken skewers are ready~!”

With that, Doran’s face lit up with a smile again and he salivated.

“Ah, no need to divide it onto two plates. Just bring it all here. I’m eating it all myself.”

The clerk looked puzzled, and Rain opened his eyes in disbelief. Isn’t it normal to share?

“This is ridiculous… You just beat around the bush. I’ll be going now.”

As Rain stood up, Doran, wiping the juice from the bitten skewer, said,

“We should wrap up the preamble and get to the main point. I would like to scout you for the Magic Federation’s Special Service Department.”

“I’m still a student, though.”

“Of course, I’m talking about after you graduate. With Kayven senior being a Prefect, it will take time before you inherit the family lineage, right?”

The Special Service Department of the Magic Federation was an independent combat organization that handled magical crimes committed by witches and wizards and investigated matters related to black magic.

Being selected for the Special Service Department was akin to building an immense career as a mage, as it consisted only of talented and young battle mages.

However, Rain, who had no particular interest in social prestige and was battle-hardened against dark magic, turned his back without a second thought.

“I’m not interested in Special Service; this is it.”

Then Doran, with a playful voice revealing a profound fact, stopped Rain in his tracks.

“The Black Church’s activities are growing more active.”

“…!”

“Of course, the upper echelons of the Magic Federation are in denial, intoxicated by peace, but a massive event is drawing near. It’s not too late to prepare from now.”

It’s a serious matter, surely.

But Rain didn’t feel an obligation to fight the Black Church. If it’s not about being attacked first, he’d prefer not to get involved.

He had fought enough in his past life, and even thinking about fighting those insane fanatics made him shudder.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ll think about it once.”

It’s your job to figure it out now.

I, the senior, would like some rest.

If it gets too tough, then I’ll help… As Rain was about to finish the conversation, Doran held his attention one last time.

“If there’s something you absolutely need from the black market, after the midterms are over and the holidays begin, look closely for an ‘Escort Mission’ from the Union.”

“…?”

“Most of the attendees to the secret market during the are likely to be there.”

Rain glanced back to see Doran, wearing an easy smile as he sipped his tea.

“This is a token of thanks for your valuable time. Of course, if you promise to join Special Service, I’ll show you an easier way.”

Rain sighed and shook his head, walking away.

That’s frightening.

Truly the type of human he didn’t want to get involved with.

* * *

How long had Rain left when four people—eating, performing magical tricks—started gathering around Doran one after another.

They all looked too shabby with their diverse clothing to be considered excellent mages of the Special Service Department.

But it wasn’t surprising. The civilian-like garb to hide one’s status as a mage was characteristic of the Special Service Department.

“How did it go?”

“He said he would think about it.”

“That’s as good as a ‘no.’”

The mustached man performing magic tricks chuckled, and the woman who had been napping on the roof of the bar yawned and leaped down.

“So why do you have to go all out to scout someone like a ‘disaster’ young master? They say this 1st year class at is called the golden generation; even one from there would be better than him.”

Then Doran Slade, his old pocket watch still in hand, smiled wryly.

Wearing a false mustache, he smirked.

“Indeed, it seems that Viscount Rain will not belong to that golden generation.”

“But why!”

“I needed confirmation. Since it doesn’t seem like he’s been in contact with Tureina, let’s move on to the next suspect.”

“But, do you really think there’s someone among the Delaiten chicks who’s been in contact with Tureina?”

“It’s my intuition, but I’m guessing there is someone. Maybe they’ve been connected even before enrollment.”

While saying that, a serious look flickered in Doran’s eyes as he glanced at the spot where Rain had departed.

‘Yes, how could he dare claim to be part of the golden generation?’

To place him in the same group as the freshmen known as the golden generation… The level difference was simply too overwhelming. Soon his eyes curved again like crescents.

“Senior Kevan, Senior Brim. You’ve both created a fearsome monster. I’ve never before been so fearful of someone’s future potential.”

* * *

Librarian Karen grimaced when she learned that the book was unobtainable.

“It’s alright, Young Master. I’m already in your debt. More than that, I worry about the possibility of you coming to harm while acquiring the book.”

“There’s no need to worry. Everything is going well. But did you by any chance discuss the black market with a man roaming around looking like a beggar?”

Karen tilted her head in confusion.

“Looking like a beggar? Now that you mention it, someone affiliated with the Magical Department did come to the library briefly… but they didn’t speak to a low-ranked librarian like me.”

“Then who did they talk to?”

“The senior librarians. It seemed they were old friends reminiscing before they left.”

So they did come. But they didn’t talk with Karen… How could they have found out?

Though doubts remained, there was work to do, so swiftly he returned to his quarters.

The task was not grandiose, it concerned the ability of the Imagery Boundary that he had recently acquired. He couldn’t wait until his mana reached 20,000.

“Ah, just on time.”

At the dormitory’s door were the two glass orbs with a diameter of 86cm he had purchased for a gold piece each from a magic-tool shop on his way.

The name of these orbs was ‘Soul dew’ (靈珠).

They were used for mana reaction experiments or for teaching children around five or six years old how to use mana, capable of holding mana for up to 24 hours.

‘I bought the largest and most expensive ones so each should be able to hold about 4,000 mana.’

If he combined the stored mana with what he currently possessed, he would barely surpass 20,000. If his calculations were correct, he would be able to experiment with the Imagery Boundary.

“Here we go.”

He placed his hands on a Soul dew and concentrated, feeling the pressure of squeezing out his intention as the orb began to emit a bright blue light (淸光).

As sweat cooled on his body, the mana inside the shining glass sphere began to swirl, creating strange fluctuations.

“This completes it…”

He took a breath, then immediately sat down in a lotus position and entered meditation.

Adjusting the scattered flow of mana, he stabilized his mana core to generate new mana.

By the time all his mana had recovered, twilight of the following day was filtering through the window. Upon opening his eyes, he formed a hand sign (手印) with both hands.

Luo (羅).

Spreading and manifesting a characteristic attribution.

The hand sign symbolizing this rune was to form two triangles and a circle with both hands.

“Imagery construction, Sovereignty of Flow and Measure.”

At that moment, a fierce mana storm whirled about before suddenly, the glass orb cracked under the pressure and shattered.

Along with a sudden pain as if his mana core was being scraped, blood spurted out.

‘Is it a failure…?’

Just as he was about to sigh in defeat, the § pattern etched on his left palm emitted a burning heat as if his skin was searing, creating a new world of light (新世界).

<流> <量>

O

<尊> <世>

A mysterious magic circle, massive in size, unfolded around Rain.

The circle contained a total of five runes, brightening and gleaming with each etching of the Sovereignty of Flow and Measure.

流(Flow): The characteristic of ‘flow.’

量(Measure): The characteristic of ‘measuring.’

世(World): The characteristic of ‘the world.’

尊(Enhancement): The characteristic of ‘enhancing.’

What was even more astonishing was the magical circuit that connected the central circle to the corresponding runes.

Yun(蝡), Ro(癆), Eun(齦), Lin’s infinite functions, variable waves, and more…

Incomplete runes and mathematical theories that Lin had devised were intricately combined into lines of energy.

True to its name, the Imagery Boundary seemed like a mirror reflecting his thoughts, materializing them into a boundary.

“Could it be…?”

He attempted to use a flame magic formula he had tested at the Dragon Arena before.

Vroom!

Then, the associated runes Yun(蝡) and matrix mechanics necessary for casting the spell glowed and surfaced as if revising Yun(蝡) to Yun(蜳) and adding some different equations to the matrix mechanics theory.

‘Is this possible?’

He doubted his eyes. Was it providing him the optimal choices for casting the spells he thought of? Was it compensating for his shortcomings like this?

‘Such an unbelievable…!’

It was an unbelievable ability.

There was no one capable of teaching magic of five stars and above. It was a realm of self-study that one must tackle alone, yet to learn it this way?

“Totally awesome, isn’t it?”

His laughter ended there. A sharp pain pricked his mana core, and shortly after, the magic circle that had filled the room disintegrated into particles of light.

It meant his mana was exhausted.

“Ho, ho, ho, hahaha…!”

Rain collapsed backward, laughing like a child, not minding the chill that crept over his body drenched in cold sweat.

“The Imagery Boundary is like a mirror reflecting the heart of the caster.”

The second sage, Laiert Warden, had said so. If we take that into account, we can understand the special nature of Rain’s Sovereignty of Flow and Measure.

The Imagery Boundary is a mirror reflecting the heart, and in the boy’s heart lies nothing but sincere, infinite, and pure curiosity towards the truth.

That ‘longing for truth’ is the very image manifested by the Sovereignty of Flow and Measure.



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