The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 38

Chapter 38

300 years ago, the fourth year of summer, at the Dirbeta battlefront.

“Your magic is subpar,” declared Rin, the Grand Mage of the Hero Party, prompting the indignant battle mages of Magic Unit 1 to rise in challenge.

“Of course we acknowledge that you are an Aquisite (5-star) mage, but to call our magic subpar?”

“We’re also Battle Mages recognized as the best in the empire!”

“Retract that insult, please.”

However, Rin glanced over at them with an expressionless face, shook her head, and turned away.

“Don’t follow me. You’ll just get in the way.”

Watching Rin walk away, the mages exchanged bewildered looks. That orphan girl, lacking any proper background… Some harbored such thoughts.

‘Hmph, just how great does she think she is…’

Yuslin, having graduated as valedictorian from Delaiten and barely twenty, secretly followed the Hero Party utilizing her specialty magic ‘Conceal Presence.’

“What…is this?”

The reality she witnessed was a nightmare.

Armies from the abyss spread across the horizon like a black wave, paralyzing with the primal fear etched in human instinct, the ‘Old Ones’.

Before that fearsome tide of death, Rin stood unflinching, tirelessly intercepting with her magic, steadily reducing the enemy forces.

‘How many magic potions is she consuming…?’

Using magic potions forcibly recovers mana but imposes an incredible strain on the spellbinding, so much so that mages generally avoid them unless absolutely necessary.

It was even said among mages that it was ‘trading the future for the present.’

Yet she had already consumed dozens of them…drenched in cold sweat and grimacing in pain.

“She’ll use up an average of thirty in a single battle, won’t she?”

At that moment, a voice responded to her silent question.

Startled, Yuslin turned to find a beautiful woman wearing a witch’s robe embroidered with a golden dragon over a pure-blooded white background, holding a long-stemmed pipe.

“Pr, Priestess Freide…!”

Yuslin immediately knelt on one knee as a sign of respect. Though from different nations, the status of a priestess was revered.

“Hmm, it seems you’re not here with ill intent?”

Behind Freide’s legs, a girl with sky-blue hair peeped out, her face etched with wariness.

Above the young girl, the famous companion bird of Freide, the Solar Parrot Pipi, cocked its head curiously.

“Bad, bad, bad.”

Yuslin cautiously asked.

“Bad intent?”

“Bad intent is just that. If you had come with it, I would have blown you away immediately.”

“…You seem to cherish Rin very much.”

Freide smiled mischievously and nodded.

“Of course, she’s our youngest. And this girl here is our daughter.”

It was a smile filled with an ineffable, deep affection…enough to momentarily lose herself in thought. Regaining her composure, Yuslin said.

“Shouldn’t we be stopping her? Consuming potions like that could lead to mana overflow if unlucky, making it impossible to ever practice magic!”

“I know. Both Rin and I.”

“Then why do you leave her be? If she’s pushing herself that hard, why did you say that to us? If we pooled our strength, couldn’t we lighten her load?!”

Freide exhaled smoke from her pipe, gazing at the starry sky with a melancholy smile.

“There are two reasons. First, those who said they’d help ended up dead, so I hope you remain safe.”

“…!”

“And the other reason…is a lack of courage. The courage to be honest with oneself and others.”

As Freide grimly chewed on her pipe, she continued to watch Rin conjure spell after spell.

It’s okay.

You’re still young, Rin.

You can grow; there’s no need to force a change, not at this point. Your life has just begun.

“Teacher isn’t cowardly!”

At that moment, the sky-blue haired girl, Tureina, shouted out, and the parrot mockingly bobbed its head.

“Coward, coward, Rin is a coward.”

“Pipi, you!”

Freide burst into laughter at the cute squabble.

“The courage I mentioned isn’t of that kind.”

“Then what kind is it?”

“Well, perhaps Rin and Tureina will understand when they’re older.”

One year later, the young Grand Mage perished in her last battle, protecting her comrades.

She was but eighteen, never having had the chance to become an adult.

The war ended amidst the tears of those she left behind.

* * *

“My goodness, who would have thought the extent to be this…”

Professor Caroline was at a loss for words, as was everyone else witnessing the situation.

‘Indeed, an enormous talent.’

Elin Ludwick thought with her sharp gaze.

‘Yeomang, the Flame Envoy Beast, considered the finest among the proud summon beasts of the Rivendell school.’

A serpentine dragon, a fox, a hawk, a fire toad.

Among them, Yeomang, the serpentine dragon, was famously picky about its masters, which the founder of the Rivendell school, Grand Mage Orbos Karain, mainly used.

Wasn’t it recorded in the long history of the Rivendell school that only five people managed to command Yeomang?

‘Still inexperienced for not summoning it perfectly, roughly 30% of its potential power… And yet, for a mere sixteen-year-old fledgling to bind Yeomang.’

Krista Warden was naturally aware of the formidable reputation of Yeomang.

“Do we even have a chance against it?”

Krista pondered over whether Gertrude could find a way to win but drew a blank.

Offensive-oriented hawk.

Defensive-oriented fire toad.

Illusion-focused fox.

Unlike those three, the serpentine dragon excelled in both offense and defense—a virtually flawless summon beast.

‘Is this a joke?’

Using Yeomang indicated a level far beyond that of a mere student. Even professional mages were no match, considered basic by comparison.

Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

As an almost explosive scream echoed, the serpentine dragon’s colossal maw engulfed a rock, which began to burn fiercely, melting down to ash in a blinding inferno.

An unimaginable force…the rock didn’t just melt but disintegrated into ash drifting in the wind.

‘What in the world…?!’

Barely…

Gertrude, who had rolled to the side, gasped for breath and looked back at the surreal heat’s owner.

Krrrrrrr…

When Lillian aimed her talisman at Gertrude, the Imugi that had been winding around the rock instantly unravelled into flames. Then, reassembling into the shape of a snake, it pounced with lightning speed.

‘I can’t dodge, there’s no way to dodge…!’

At that moment, the professors were even suggesting to the lead professor that the exam should be stopped.

“Even if they don’t actually die, the pain will be unimaginable! It will certainly leave trauma!”

“Lead Professor!”

This test was never meant to make the cadets kill or be killed… Amidst such outcry, Lead Professor Marhena closed her eyes.

‘Is it not here, is it still not here?’

Hesitating, she raised her wand, intending to dissolve the barrier and revert all illusions to nothingness—at that very moment, she caught a glimpse of something past in the corner of her right eye.

No, it was not just an afterimage.

In the lower right corner of her Clairvoyance, a window appeared, and through it, the eyes of a boy gazing into the distance blazed red before beginning to rotate into a silver-white star formation, just as Skalji Ludwig once did.

“Bell Quirius.”

Thump, a sudden, bursting pain washed over her heart, staining Raine’s vision red. In this world of red and black, everything slowed down.

┏ 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 ┓

・The magic circle of the spell consisted of 5 triangles.

・The runes used were the combination of the mathematical Rutishen and the amplifying Delbysheritz, ratio 5:5.

・Size 1,144 Axel, range 1,556 Kimit.

┗ 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 ┛

What was imprinted in his mind through his eyes was not scenery, but the foundational formulae constituting his ability. There was no equation his eyes could not decipher.

“Interpretation complete, correction initiated.”

He twisted the foundational equations.

So that they converged to zero.

Using inverse operations to verify and satisfy different equations. Introducing new terms to the magical formula, removing real roots, leaving only the imaginary.

– Three times.

That was Skalji Ludwig’s warning.

– According to the tests, with your current magical power, three times is the maximum. Of course, the higher the level of magic you’re intervening with, the shorter that limit becomes.

This was the last of his magical power.

Already depleted from hunting magical beasts…

– If you reach the limit of your magic power, do not use it again at all costs. You’ll be incapacitated. So, use it only when it’s truly important.

The veins around his eyes, previously expanding like a spider web, burst, and blood streamed down.

It hurts.

It really hurts.

Slowly, the light of the chiromancy in Raine’s eyes faded to a dying light and then completely vanished.

‘I’ve done something foolish…’

He had just returned to the last safe zone, Sector F, after finishing a hunting operation as planned. All that was left was to find a suitable place to set up his nest and defend his position.

‘……’

Would Ristana Pride or Kies have turned a blind eye to Gertrude in a similar situation? That endless question gripped Raine’s ankle.

‘No, it’s not.’

He knew for sure after the fight with Logan and the Rat-Spider Queen. The longer the fight against a strong enemy, the faster one could reach 6 stars.

‘This was not for Gertrude’s sake. It was all for my own combat experience…’

At the moment Raine closed his eyes.

Kwarrrrrrrrrr, the Imugi of flame that defied the foundational equation—

The absolute flame that had surged like a wave of murderous heat to Gertrude’s very presence—

Scattered into countless sparks across the horizon and vanished into nothingness.

“Oh…?!”

“Oooooh…?!”

“Eh…?!”

Amidst the scorching wind that threatened to char Gertrude’s skin, everyone was momentarily speechless, unable to believe the reality unfolding before them.

‘Did Lillian just bluff?’

‘Yes, it makes no sense for the Yeom-Mang to crush someone.’

But Lillian at the scene was the most shocked of all, her pupils dilated.

‘The Yeom-Mang… has disappeared…?’

It was common for Yeom-Mang to take damage from the opponent’s magic, and to vanish when the damage accumulated.

But this was different.

The emptiness of their magical link being suddenly and forcibly severed…

How could one explain such a strange phenomenon?

“……”

And there was a wizard, eyes trembling even more violently than hers, closely observing the situation—Lead Professor Marhena.

‘In this battle royale-style test, there’s one rule that all cadets clearly understand without needing it to be explained.’

That was the notion that ‘there’s no merit in helping others.’

Obisamchek, wasn’t that the phrase? When one could barely manage their own affairs, how could they afford to look after others?

‘And isn’t that a problem just for the middle and lower cadets?’

Even those who are relatively well-off among the upper cadets couldn’t afford to help others because of the competition for S grades.

This exam was designed to see, within the constraints of limited time, resources, and competitive examination, whether there truly is genuine compassion to lend a hand.

‘There’s no need to explain why Rin’s story has touched so many over the years.’

Because it is a story of growth.

It’s the tale of one ‘magician’ approaching the realm of the ‘sage,’ filled with life lessons.

‘Emmit Sage Page, Lai Ott Warden… The common thread among the previous sages was that they were all righteous people.’

And Grand Magus Rin ultimately transformed into someone willing to sacrifice herself for her companions.

‘Perhaps the answer to the path of the sage lies in that righteous nature…’

None of the professors who devised this test have grasped its true intention yet. It’s natural, as no one has yet reached the same enlightenment as me.

‘From such criteria.’

Marhena looked at the face of Raine Ludwig in the window, overlapping with the smile of Skalji Ludwig from his youth, and she smiled contentedly.

“Skalji, your grandson scores not just a perfect hundred but a two hundred out of a hundred.”



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