The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 41

Episode 41

Late into the night, Pippi and I sat long upon the main gate stairs of the temple, gazing up at the starry sky.

There was no need for words between us. That just wasn’t our way. It was enough simply to share moments like these.

That alone brought endless smiles to our faces.

As the dark sky began to shift to hues of violet, signaling the approach of dawn, I finally spoke.

“Friede told you to wait for me?”

The matter puzzled me. No, not just puzzled—it seemed outright baffling.

Why had Friede instructed you to wait for me? And for as long as 300 years, at that? For what purpose? There surely must be some reason.

Friede wouldn’t have left Pippi here—at a place so sacred to her, valued even above her kin—unless it was for something truly significant.

Though all the comrades of the hero’s party were fond of Pippi and found the creature adorable, none could match the affection that Friede, who had raised it since it was a baby, had showered upon it.

“Its this, this, this.”

Pippi waved its neck, and I noticed a very small pouch hanging there. From it, I could extract a ring.

A treasure among treasures, the ring shone with a gem that glowed like blazing fire—the Flame Jade Stone.

I couldn’t help but catch my breath—not because of the ring’s value, but because it was a familiar object.

“This is Friede’s, isn’t it?”

“Right, right, right.”

Pippi took flight as if beckoning me to follow. Its destination was none other than the firmly shut doors of the temple. The redwood doors, aged by time but still intact, stood before us.

“Have you been fending off all the grave robbers for the past 300 years?”

“Protected, protected, protected.”

“Why? No, what?”

As I pondered how to open the door, the ring emitted a brilliant light.

Echoing the ring’s radiance, light also burst forth from the stone statues of crimson dragons flanking the gate.

Rumble rumble rumble… Dust billowed out as the massive doors began to open.

Caught mid-whistle in awe, I had to rush in after Pippi, who had flown inside.

“Pippi!”

As I stepped inside, flames sprang to life in the sconces along the walls, obviating the need for any lighting magic.

The dim interior of the temple was full of dust, but the ceiling soared high, gems adorning the pillars shone resplendently, and the line of red dragon statues along the corridor was imposing.

Despite the chilly spring dawn outside, a mysterious warmth lingered inside, offering the comfort of a womb.

“Pippi, where are you going? Pippi!”

How long had I followed the trail of faint fiery afterimages left by Pippi’s flight?

At last, Pippi came to a stop at the end of a long corridor, near the chamber where the shrine maiden would have slept.

‘Friede’s room…’

I hesitated only a moment before opening the door. Pippi settled onto the bed, bobbing its head back and forth, humming a little tune through its nose.

Maybe it was happy to detect its master’s scent? But on closer inspection, I noticed something beneath Pippi’s talons—a fine blackwood box.

A sense of inexplicable tension gripped me as I opened the box… there lay a glass bottle, wrapped in red silk, glowing with a flame-like radiance amidst the darkness, its golden brilliance eerily mesmerizing.

“What is this?”

It wasn’t the liquid that took my breath away at that moment, but rather the small piece of paper folded beneath the bottle in the box.

It was so aged that it had yellowed, and it seemed it would crumble if handled too roughly.

And then… atop that paper was handwriting that was vibrantly alive.

[1168.09.24 – For Lynne.]

A gasp froze my breath.

A hollow laughter bubbled intermittently from my throat, making it difficult to draw air.

‘The date… from 250 years ago…’

I steadied my breathing and cautiously unfolded the letter.

To Lynne,

I write this letter again this year, probably for the last time.

Knowing how you struggle with treasure hunting, I have given up on hiding this because of thieves, and decided to make Pippi the gatekeeper instead. To ensure this letter and a gift reaches you.

Have you met Pippi? Out of pity for our plight, the Azure Dragon has granted Pippi a longer life. I regret that I can’t see your surprised face myself.

Both Pippi and I have grown old. But my desire to see you once again is as strong as ever. As I age, tears come easily, and memories of what I couldn’t do for you in the past haunt me.

I must now depart.

I will follow the legion to the South Pole, to the “Flame of Ten Thousand Li.” If my dreams are fulfilled, I might still be alive when you come.

I’ll end my letter here.

I would write more, but I dread of what kind of lecture I’d get from Ristana Kieris.

It’s the collective wish of all of us that you, Lynne, starting a new life, should not be shackled by the past.

The item enclosed with this letter is a birthday gift.

Happy 19th birthday, Lynne. I promised you once. This is the very breath of a dragon.

I pray with all my heart that this gift will, in some small way, aid you in the life you must bear henceforth.

I am grateful.

And I miss you.

– Your old friend, Friede.

The characters of the letter blurred into an unfocused haze. I could feel the wet swell of tears in my eyes.

‘Formalities now? After all this time…’

Though such thoughts occurred to me, realizing that Friede had been 90 years old when writing this softened my heart to an emptiness beyond my control.

It was then I truly understood.

All this time, I’d been harboring vain hopes. That somewhere, my comrades might still be alive…

Holding on to the faint hope that I might see them again… I realized I’ve been soothing my vast loneliness with that modest hope.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry. Rin, don’t cry.”

Pipi bustled from one shoulder to the other, chastising me in such a manner. I shook my head as I wiped the corners of my eyes.

“It’s okay. I’m not crying. It’s just… it’s funny when you speak so formally…”

Though I feigned calm, it was almost too much effort to even grasp something with my hand. I decided to dispose of the dragon’s breath before losing it altogether.

As if understanding, Pipi used its beak to pluck out the cork stopper. Like heat rising from flames, a mysterious vital energy leaked from the liquid in the glass bottle.

Thank you, Friede. I whispered silently, then poured the entire viscous liquid into my mouth.

“?!?!”

From my mouth onwards, something felt wrong, and swallowing it down felt as if I was ingesting flames, a painful sensation.

However, the pain… it didn’t quite feel like pain… it was as if an enormous vitality surged within me…

Blood vessels protruded across my body, glowing red, and an unprecedented power rushed through the channels where I circulated my mana.

An overwhelming sense of uncontrollable power, as if the channels were being consumed by flames — a sensation of burning heat.

“Pipi, my bag.”

“Bag, bag.”

“There’s an old diary I used to write in. Could you flip it open for me?”

As I felt an intoxicating euphoria and the explosive mana circulating within me, characters began to reveal themselves before my eyes. Rudiante Lira.

Gustaba: Objectifies the physical state of the practitioner into mathematical values.

ㆍColumn: Current mana 13,222 -> 26,444.

My mouth gaped open at the unbelievable increase in mana.

Double?

Exactly double?

Such an amplification was unheard of. The increase in mana provided by the Horrors or Elixirs, which the Eight Great Schools prepared for their next headmasters over centuries, didn’t even reach 5,000.

‘Ah, such a mistake…’

Had I known it was this powerful, I would have increased my mana to 50,000 before consuming it to hit 100,000. But I shook my head to chase away those gloomy thoughts.

‘At least now I can use the profound boundary spells.’

As proof, my own unique rune flickered faintly on the bandaged palm of my left hand, showcasing its presence.

Brante.

– New mana circuit activated, usage conditions met: Yuryang Sezon (Flow Master).

Mana growth is peculiar; it starts with a gradual downward slope but once a certain point is breached, it shifts to an upward curve.

It means that once it enters a certain trajectory, the growth rate gradually accelerates.

Thus, there was no need to be forlorn. The speed at which my mana would grow now would be incomparably different from before.

It was around that time that the morning light dazzlingly shone through the stained glass of the temple. While packing Friede’s neck lock into my bundle, I said,

“Pipi, I have to go now. If I leave now, I won’t be late for the dormitory curfew.”

“Rin, must go. Rin, must go.”

“That’s why… do you want to come with me?”

Pipi’s eyes sparkled but then its head drooped as if it couldn’t do so.

“Pipi, waits for Friede. Waited for Rin, now waits for Friede.”

Is that so?

Was that a promise made?

Was this creature doomed to repeat a promise of waiting without a set date? I couldn’t just leave it be.

“We can wait together.”

“Rin, together?”

“Yeah. Friede is incredibly famous, so if he’s alive, it would cause an uproar. We don’t need to wait here; we can go meet him together later. Friede will be utterly astonished…”

At first, Pipi tilted its head in confusion, but soon its eyes glittered as it climbed atop my head, nodding eagerly.

“Together, together, together.”

As we left the temple, the morning sunshine unfolded, brilliantly illuminating the world. Thud, the grand doors closed behind us, never to open again.

“Pipi, is there something you want to eat?”

“Corn, corn, corn.”

“Oh right, Pipi loves corn, right?”

Despite the cold air still lingering this spring morning, the conversation with an old friend warmed my body and heart all the way home.

Warm and warm and yet again warm, it warmed my soul.

* * *

Having finished writing a letter, Friede gazed silently at the sheet of paper. Meanwhile, Pipi was pecking at corn kernels.

“Pipi.”

“Pipi, Pipi, Pipi.”

“I have to go now.”

Pipi stopped eating the corn and looked up with clear eyes at its aged master. A bitter smile formed on Friede’s wrinkled lips.

“Will you wait here for Rin? So the child won’t be alone.”

“Pipi, waiting for Rin.”

“It will be a really tough and exhausting journey… until that child arrives, you’ll be the lonely one.”

Friede couldn’t fathom how long and painful that journey would be. Isn’t that why he was departing to the hinterlands now himself?

“It’s alright, it’s alright.”

“Are you sure? You can come with me.”

“Even if it’s hard, Pipi wait for Rin. Rin, Friede’s friend. Rin, Pipi’s friend.”

Ah… Friede lovingly hugged Pipi in his arms and began to cry silently for a moment.

It might be the last time. But if ever…

“I’ll be waiting at , Pipi. Tell Rin this when he’s ready to journey,” Friede said, leaving his message of hope and waiting.



Want to keep in touch ? Join our Discord : https://discord.gg/wMvrbbTzrG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *