The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 33

Episode 33

300 years ago.

Beyond the dark blue mist of poison, the eroded and rotting city walls of the abyss came into view.

“Is that really the place called the Southern Star?”

To Grand Magician Lyn’s question, the priestess of the Fire Dragon, Pryde, let out a long puff of smoke from her pipe and nodded solemnly.

“The Southern Star, . A beautiful city from which light poured in from all sides at midday. Now, it’s a place I don’t even want to approach.”

“What should we do, Lysta?”

They were on a precipice overlooking the city. Faequurrier Lysta stood at the very edge, silently gazing down at the city.

“Um, it seems like entering there would endanger everyone.”

“That’s obvious to anyone.”

“So, Lyn, just blast the whole thing away.”

For a moment, disbelief filled the air.

But neither Castle Kies nor Pryde seemed to object to Lyn’s suggestion, all smiling faintly.

Blinking in shock for a while, Lyn quickly spoke up.

“Are you joking right now? Isn’t that a cultural heritage? We need to preserve its original state as much as possible for restoration.”

Looking over his shoulder, Lysta replied at that moment.

“There are times in this world when we just need to do something and regret it later.”

“You’re spewing sophistry again.”

“It’s not sophistry. You three mean many times more to me than such cultural heritage.”

Lysta always smiled seriously when saying such things. As if there wasn’t a hint of pretense in his words. Lyn looked away, muttering.

“…This is going to come back to bite us later.”

“I’ll take on the role of regretting and facing the consequences later. Isn’t that what a leader is for?”

“This isn’t something to be taken so lightly─”

“─Lyn, sometimes seeing the world with a lighter touch can make all the difference, don’t you think?”

So, Lyn.

Just let yourself go this once.

“The complexities of the problem are just a turn-off for me. What about you, Lyn?”

* * *

“You see now? What it means to aim for the top seat in .”

Krista approached confidently with her arms crossed.

“No ordinary method can win you the top seat in , no matter how hard you try.”

It certainly seemed that way.

He kept pondering a solution… but no matter how much he thought, he couldn’t come up with anything that would surpass Krista’s record.

‘Isn’t there a way I can use my power distinctly different from others?’

In an enclosed, labyrinth-like space, indiscriminately casting offensive magic was impossible, big or small—the terrain could collapse, or the aftermath could be catastrophic.

‘So in such tight spaces, summoning spells are overwhelmingly effective, but that’s exactly what I can’t use…’

How could he easily surpass Krista’s record? To graduate as the top student, one would need to set a record unreachable by not just Krista but anyone.

– Lyn, just blast the whole thing away.

Warmed by the lingering echoes of the past, Rain suddenly opened his eyes and then chuckled lightly.

“…Yeah, sometimes it’s okay just to act out and regret later.”

He murmured to himself when a sudden, unusual surge of magical power flickered around him, causing Krista to raise her eyebrows in surprise. Logan asked,

“What was that all about?”

“There’s something to that. But listen to this for a second.”

As Rain whispered something to Logan, the latter cocked his head to listen then his eyes widened.

“Did I hear that wrong?”

“No, you heard me right.”

“Are you serious? Such actions might even lead to disqualification!”

“Perhaps, but don’t worry. Should any issues arise, I’ll take full responsibility.”

Is this really something one can take responsibility for alone?

Logan, at a loss, turned to look at Rain, but his eyes were serious.

Facing those eyes, Logan could not help but let out a hollow laugh.

“Well, you’ve surely earned at least an A grade already… but it wouldn’t be fun otherwise.”

“Right?”

“Let’s give it a try.”

Krista could only look on with apprehensive eyes.

‘Disqualification, fun, what are they trying to pull off?’

Talking about disqualification or fun meant they must be contemplating some wild, risky gambit, surely not playing fast and loose with a formal exam?

“I won’t accept any foolish pranks in a fight against me! An exam is not a matter of light-hearted enjoyment. It requires more sincerity than any other time!”

Krista’s burst of anger was palpable.

Yet, for some reason, Rain was making an incompreensibly amused expression, as if he found it unbearable delightful.

“What’s so fun about magic? It’s fun even when I don’t want it to be.”

“What…?”

“If you approach it with such a stiff attitude, won’t you get bored and drop out soon? Haven’t you ever enjoyed magic?”

For a moment, Krista was at a loss for words, as a faint echo of the past, like the gentle spring breeze, passed by her mind…

– Daddy, look at this!

Beaming proudly at her parents when she first cast a basic spell. Yet, she quickly shook her head to clear those echoes from her mind.

She’s not in a position to enjoy magic. She cannot afford to hold such a light-hearted attitude.

Biting her lower lip, Krista vented her bitter emotions by saying,

“…Enjoyment is an irresponsible proposition. Nothing can be achieved by indulging in joy.”

Then she turned her back and walked away without waiting for a reply. Rain looked after her, puzzled.

“Why does she seem angry? Did I say something wrong?”

“How should I know? They say you can know a hundred miles of water, but not a woman’s heart.”

“Whoa~ Master, you sure do know some neat phrases.”

“Hahah, who do you think I am? Logan of Chaihark, after all.”

As the 10 minutes of consultation time came to an end, the cadets let out sighs of resignation as they headed toward their assigned caves. Sitting back would not reveal the maze’s layout to them, after all.

“Professor.”

That was when team 12’s Rain Ludwig approached Professor Kail.

“Go ahead.”

“By any means necessary, as long as I annihilate all the targets within the labyrinth, right?”

“Yes, that’s correct, but—”

“And there’s no possibility of another team’s mistakes causing the caves to collapse, right? Because it’s all under your magical control?”

“Of course.”

Rain smiled slyly and turned away.

What now?

Neither Professor Kail nor the teaching assistant could decipher the meaning behind his smile, tilting their heads in confusion. Rain returned to his spot and opened his—

He pushed it open.

“Are you ready, master?”

“I will finish in 7 seconds on my end.”

“It’ll take me about 50 seconds, so let’s aim to finish within a minute, ultimately.”

With a stretching sound, Logan limbered up his joints with light movements.

“9 minutes. Only 1 minute left.”

As the assistant instructor shouted, Logan shrugged off his school uniform coat. His bare torso revealed the meticulously and intricately drawn protective magic circles of the Chaehyuk School’s secret technique, Body Empowerment Art.

“Team 12, begin the test now!”

The moment Raine shouted, the magic circles from the Body Empowerment Art burst into light and spread throughout his body.

“Hmm?”

Professor Kyle and the assistant instructors, watching through Clairvoyance, raised their eyebrows in surprise. The cadets standing beside them did the same.

“He’s not entering through the entrance?”

“What is he doing?”

“If he’s starting the test so soon, does it mean he’s that confident?”

Krista also folded her arms and stared at the screen with an unsatisfied look.

‘What kind of trick is he trying to pull?’

Just then, a fearsome red light flickered dangerously in Raine’s eyes.

“Uh…?!”

“Is that…?!”

Within the seductively crimson glow, the deadly power of Bel Cidyus was drawn in silver-white… The cadets all involuntarily held their breath, and even Professor Kyle’s eyes shone in astonishment.

“To awaken the Bel Cidyus at just sixteen?”

The bloodline limit of the Ludwick nobility.

Bel Cidyus.

The eyes known to penetrate all abilities, imbuing an eerie power that sent chills through any mage that faced it.

‘Both Scalgis and Keban of the famous Ludwick genius father and son opened those eyes at seventeen and eighteen respectively, right?’

Did Elin Ludwick awaken it around the age of twenty-four?

Earlier than all of them?

Unlike the bloodline limits of other great families, known for relatively simple initiation, this one required immense talent and effort even to grasp the basics.

‘But what exactly is he doing at the entrance?’

Krista rolled her eyes in disbelief. Knowing the enemy’s location in advance meant nothing if one did not physically seek and annihilate them.

┏ 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 ┓

The magic formation of the incantation was a single rectangle.

The runes used were the arithmetic Rutician symbols.

Size: 3 axels; Range: 5 kimetes.

┗ 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 ┛

01010101010101, through Raine’s blood-red vision, all the targets located inside the labyrinth were now impeccably marked beyond the terrain.

“Good, connect them.”

Threads of brilliant light unraveled from Raine’s palms, weaving elegantly above to form the shape of a magic array.

The formation was a cross between a trapezoid and a pentagon.

The inscribed runes were ‘연(連)’, meaning to connect, and ‘전(傳)’, meaning to transmit.

The telekinetic magic formation gets

‘연(連): to join’,

The electric magic formation gets

‘전(傳): to convey’ traits.

At that moment, Professor Kyle’s eyes widened.

“Is that possibly…”

Swish, the threads of light cascaded down from Raine’s feet into the labyrinth, leaving a long trail as they shot rapidly inside.

Then one by one, the tendrils of light that entered deep into the labyrinth split into multiple strands, reaching each of the marked targets.

Good. As Raine nodded, Logan, bathed in the light of the Body Empowerment Art and on standby, raised his fist above his head and then…

“Heave-ho!”

A powerful shout erupted as he slammed down at the starting point of the light with great force.

The magical barrier spread over his skin like the Body Empowerment Art exploded with tremendous thermal energy, doubling its destructive power.

And the ground crumbled, with stones scattering like hail, the formidable destructive force was amplified across the entire labyrinth by the rune ‘전(傳)’ inscribed in the light.

Kuguuguguugugugu───!

The wave of destruction following the light tore mercilessly through the labyrinth’s terrain. Explosions sounded violently as dust swirled, and the Clairvoyant’s window was obscured.

“What’s that?”

“What’s happening?”

“What did they do, now? Why are they smashing the labyrinth? Are they crazy? How are they supposed to go in now?”

While the cadets merely buzzed with such questions, Professor Kyle and the assistant instructors had a different reaction. The spellbound assistant instructor stared blankly at the display of his magical device.

“Remaining targets count 19… no, 11… wait, now 4?! Pr-professor?!”

As though entranced, Professor Kyle peered through the Clairvoyance, his eyes large behind his squared glasses, thrilled.

ㆍTeam 12 – Passage 12.

ㆍTime – 00:59.

ㆍRemaining targets – 0.

59 seconds.

It took less than a minute?

How could such an absurd feat be… The assistant instructor snapped out of his daze, shaking his head vigorously.

“Professor, this seems to deviate from the spirit of the test.”

“What do you mean?”

“The test is to enter the labyrinth and verify their capabilities, but they just demolished it and ended. Could this be seen as a fluke… Shouldn’t we consider a disqualification?”

“Why would that be?”

“S grade means perfection, but that doesn’t seem at all perfect…”

Still gazing in astonishment, Professor Kyle spoke up.

“Do you know, Mr. Zimar, that genius is the furthest thing from perfection?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Perfection is a state that reliably fits the standards prevalent in the world. But the geniuses who have changed the world have always surpassed those standards.”

Sudden acts and thoughts, unprecedented deeds… The unintelligible actions of geniuses of their time turn into the ‘world’s accepted standards’ as time passes.

“Don’t you understand? A genius isn’t someone who fits themselves into the mold of perfection but is a being that creates ‘a new perfection’.”

“A new standard of perfection…?”

“That’s right! If we judge by the era’s criteria, Rain Ludwick, that student, might indeed seem far from perfection.”

The assistant blinked.

Professor Kyle could be generous with praise, but it was the first time anyone saw him passionately acclaiming like this.

“Did you ever think about breaking a cave, Mr. Zimar?”

“I haven’t considered it, but… I think I could do it if I tried.”

“Of course. Because the student has just made a new path! That very thought that no one else has had, and acting upon it, is what’s important.”

And the magical knowledge and understanding to perfectly execute such a reckless idea… Could this really be the capability of a sixteen-year-old?

Found, has it?

Has emerged, has it?

A true genius (天才) who could bring a fresh breeze into the stagnant world of empire’s magic… Overwhelmed with intense emotion, Kyle concluded his words.

“Watch carefully, Mr. Zimar. When that student becomes an adult and a pillar of the magical world, the entire horizon of magic may well change.”



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