The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 49

Episode 49

“Me, as in…?”

Without realizing it, I ended up muttering those words like a fool, stunned.

Is this even possible?

Lyn has never left any descendants. Could this be what a doppelganger is? But it’s not just a resemblance; how can they be exactly the same?

“I really hate fighting strong opponents, you know. It’s not fun. Just tiresome.”

“……?”

“The best is thoroughly trampling on those weaker than me.”

Was it my disoriented breathing that was to blame?

Amidst the chilling confusion, the sound of a joint snapping pierced sharply through the air. Libeni had twisted his own little finger in a grotesque direction, and in response, Rain’s body reflexively switched to a combat state, concentrating magical power.

‘The sacrifice of the flesh…!’

Black magic’s characteristic is to greatly enhance its power by offering the pain of the flesh to the abyss. In simple terms, self-harm is used to amplify one’s magical abilities.

An eerie aura of malevolence rapidly converged in his hand.

First, I had to read the rune of Bel Sidious to reflect it perfectly, then open my mind’s eye… It was then Libeni smirked ominously.

“Wizards like you, who pretend to be all cool, are the easiest to kill.”

And the direction he stretched out his hand to… My hair stood on end from the chill.

It wasn’t me.

It was Hirupien’s party, who had been detached from the battlefield. Concurrently, the concentrated dark energy in his hand sparked a black current, surging towards the target in the form of a massive serpent.

‘Damn it…’

I had forgotten how vile a black magician could be.

At that moment, pupils behind my eyepatch gleamed blood-red, and the light that interpreted fate as a mathematical equation completely saturated my vision.

┏ 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 ┓

· The magic circle of the spell consists of three pentagons.

· The used rune symbols are a combination of the chanting-type Alteigma and the taboo-type Orvios, in a ratio of 3:7.

· Size 521 Axels, range 337 Kimetes.

┗ 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 ┛

Is it that powerful?

A way to block it… Within what felt like an eternity, countless thoughts crossed my mind as if debating each other.

Erasing it with Bel Quirius would be the surest method, but doing so could risk the brain being infested with dark poison.

‘But magic powerful enough to counter it would start at 4-star spells…’

Even if I cast it as fast as possible now, I’d still be 2-3 seconds too slow. Perhaps opening my mind’s eye now and finishing him off would be the better course.

– This is an investment in connections.

As if tearing through my thoughts, that voice deeply penetrated my mind. And another dear voice too.

– Lyn, helping someone is never a one-way street.

Silver-white light scattering within my pupils reconstituted the Sudden Death Star into the Seven Obscure Stars. Ripples propagated in the realm of Providence.

– Someday.

An unreasonable force that could sever the listing of Providence, composing matter, phenomena, and magical abilities, rendering them meaningless—the power of Bel Quirius interfered with the world’s axis.

– You’ll get back what Lyn has given.

The ultimate power distorted the shape of the malice. As if being sucked into an invisible dimension, the malice was pulled in every direction and then fragmented into countless particles.

“Ah, ahhhh…!”

I couldn’t remember. How could I have proven and verified it without being consumed by the abyss?

When I regained my senses, blood streamed from my eyes and the breath I’d been holding burst forth violently.

“My curse… huh?”

Bewildered by the unprecedented phenomenon, Libeni did not miss the chance and kicked off the ground, closing the distance.

Rain, at the first sign of danger, deflected a fireball with black magic, split the hastily raised staff in two with a scythe, and then extended the scythe’s blade from the ribs to deep across the collarbone.

“See? Trying to protect someone and exposing your weakness is such an easy mistake. How simple is it?”

Rain was thrown back, spattering blood in the process.

A pain so intense that it could only be described as frigid spread from the cut, suffocating me.

I must breathe, but a sharp agony like countless insects crawling through my veins and airways caused my vision to become painfully blurred.

‘I’ve been poisoned…’

It was a familiar sensation of death.

Thoughts couldn’t coalesce, and simple movements were clumsy and lethargic, as if I were in a dream.

Libeni looked down at Rain writhing in agony on the ground with a sneer, as if he enjoyed the sight, and sat at her head with an amused smile.

“How does it feel? Knowing you’re going to die within five minutes? Exhilarating? Unfair? How does it feel to see everything you’ve worked hard for crumble away in minutes?”

Now, if only I could complete the invincible spell of the Grand Reversal Prayer Circle even now… Would there be enough magical power? Could I calculate the mathematical formula?

Desperately wracking my brain, a wave of disgust swept over me. What’s the point of coming back to life again, or being reborn as someone else in a different future?

There’s nothing there. To be alone again with nothing. Just when I was about to let go of everything, a memory flitted before me.

– Lyn, wait, Fride said. Pippi waited.

With a surge of blood vomiting forth, I summoned the last of my strength into my fists to prop up my upper body.

If I give up now, Pippi will be alone… That foolish creature who didn’t give up and kept waiting for me…

Libeni, watching Rain desperately resist death, narrowed his eyes as if upset.

‘Watching strong ones beg for their lives as they die is such an entertaining spectacle.’

This is really boring. I should just kill him right now. Yes, that would feel better… As he was about to raise his scythe, it happened.

Sssssshhhh────!

A sharp sonic boom sliced through the air as a streak of light abruptly shifted its trajectory.

Had Libeni not leapt away, the five fire arrows now lodged in the ground could have pierced him through.

“Hmm, magical flames?”

Given the power and element packed into the arrows, there was no doubt they were fired by a first-class archer.

On alert for the direction the arrows came from, Kwaang, the back wall exploded into rubble, and debris flew chaotically in all directions.

Then, out from the dust and debris, a dark iron-clad figure emerged with heavy stomping.

“What the…?!”

Annoyed, Libeni raised his scythe again as another barrage of fire arrows rained down on him.

With that rate of fire and accuracy, this was unquestionably a famed archer.

During the distraction, the figure hoisted the collapsed Rain onto its shoulders and made for the opposite wall, breaking through to escape.

“Those bastards… Millek, what are you doing?”

As the darkness draped over the outer wall began to boil, a man in a dark blue robe emerged.

Holding a bloody head in his left hand, he showed it as if proof before Libeni could explode in irritation.

“As you ordered, I dealt with the Five Shadows…”

Two were killed. The recent victim was this woman.”

Despite being an incredibly powerful fighter, Libeni held no love for battles with other strong opponents. Her pleasure was derived from slaughtering the weak.

Therefore, it was always Millek’s responsibility to deal with the powerful adversaries while Libeni indulged in her massacres against the weak.

“Quiet! So noisy! Because Millek doesn’t handle things properly, pests like Obungyoung or rat bastards interfere with my hunt!”

As Libeni whimpered and pounded Millek’s chest with her little hammer, Millek sighed and shook his head.

“Rat bastards, you say?”

Suddenly, from the southwestern rooftops, like a tempest, shadows swirled and soon coalesced into a single form—and then another, and then another after that.

These figures were masters moving without a sound, each one armed with countless hidden daggers. They were none other than members of the Thieves Guild, led by Obungyoung.

“What are these runts?”

“To think ‘Zhil’ and ‘Rung’ were defeated by such as these?”

At that, the youthful visage Millek had been presenting vanished without warning, replaced by Libeni’s cold gaze and a raised eyebrow.

“Three of them. Did Millek truly kill two on his own?”

“Why would I lie about such a thing?”

“Strange. Then what were those things before?”

* * *

“The world is trembling… What’s happening…”

Amidst a sensation so intense it felt like his head might shatter, Rain barely managed to lift his eyelids.

His perspective was oddly elevated. The sensation against his wounded flank was that of cold steel, a black iron that seemed to swallow all light around it.

Opposite the black iron, another figure was being carried, who waved cheerfully upon Rain’s gaze landing on him.

“It’s me, Brother Rain!”

A plump face with a kind smile… The moment that voice reached Rain, for some reason, his eyes rapidly grew hot.

“Why am I being carried like this? Well, as you can see, I run slow because of my belly, you know. It does tend to wobble quite a bit.”

Then a skilled archer, running effortlessly across the rooftops, landed gracefully beside the stranger and remarked with much enthusiasm.

“Who do we have here?! I thought I’d rescue some poor dying fool, and it turns out to be the mad brat from the labyrinth who wanted a ‘natural encounter’!”

Rain stared blankly, and the archer—Rem—raised her right hand to flash a victorious V-sign.

“Rem, Sami…?”

“That’s right, it’s the legendary archer herself, Rem.”

“You… you all… why…?”

That’s when the strange carrier, the black iron-clad Bart, spoke up.

“We made a promise. We didn’t know when, but we agreed we’d be there to help you when you needed it.”

“…!”

“Why would all this happen,” Rain wondered, tears threatening to spill, not from relief at cheating death but perhaps due to memories overlapping with days of the hero’s party from yesteryears.

Rain turned away from Rem to hide his tears and murmured softly.

“It wasn’t necessary… I was just about to wrap things up.”

“What? You selling medicine over there? Heaven knows, Earth knows, even James from next door knows you were knocking on death’s door, kid!”

“…Was I faking my death?”

The son’s embarrassment was evident. As Rem smirked, Sami joined in.

“You’ve nothing to be embarrassed about, Brother! It’s just rightful gratitude. After all, we’ve been following you since the <Golden Rose> just in case.”

“Hey, shut up, why’d you say that!”

Indeed, the guild’s receptionist had mentioned to the trio that Rain had taken on a quest from <Redacable>. Given the dangerous rumors circulating about the <Redacable> black market, it was apparent why they came.

Rain was momentarily speechless—if that was the case, did they come all this way worrying something might happen to him?

“Bart, over there seems safe.”

Rem pointed to a location deemed safe, where Bart then gently placed Rain down. Sami immediately began to inspect Rain’s wounds.

“A horrendous stench, this must be the Amplified Poison I’ve heard about…”

As Sami pinched her nose and frowned, Rem asked while maintaining a lookout.

“Sami, can you do it?”

“I’ve certainly learned the purification ceremony. I have to try.”

Sami rolled up her sleeves, opened a holy book, and began reciting a tale of Thersia.

The Amplified Poison that could even corrode the soul could only be healed by a priest. To be precise, it was not healing but rather a substitutional atonement.

Priests would take the Amplified Poison into their bodies and gradually neutralize it. This was a fragment of the miracle left behind by the goddess Thersia, who had taken upon herself the darkness that had engulfed the world to usher in an era of light.

The only miracle humans could perform was Thersia’s gift of substitutional atonement.

“Mother of Light, touch this pain with the merciful light you bestowed upon us before creation.”

Warmth from the holy book flowed, supplying warmth to Rain’s body that was growing cold from the encroaching Amplified Poison.

– The day will come when you repay what Lin has given you.

Fride had healed Amplified Poison before, while Rista and Kies had stood by his side… Rain felt that warmth once more happening.

“Huh, they’re already on us. What kind of monsters are coming?”

“We’ll buy as much time as we can.”

“I’ll hurry as well.”

As Rem and Bart gripped their weapons with a serious air, Rain, his head bowed to hide his expression, muttered in frustration.

“Bart, Rem, Sami…”

“?”

“Just… thank you.”

That was the true heartfelt gratitude from the boy, suppressed emotions from a great mage who rarely showed sincerity, even to himself.

Bart and company weren’t fools—they understood the boy’s sincerity. Exchanging smiles with Rem, Bart clanked over in his armor and placed a hand on Rain’s head.

“There’s no need to thank us. We are comrades. Comrades are supposed to help each other.”

“That’s right, kid. Stop with the nonsense. Act like the cheeky brat you are and give us a hard time for being late.”

Biting back tears, Rain forcefully nodded and managed a begrudging smile.

“What took you so long, you latecomers…”

Rem and Bart chuckled, and a smile spread across Sami’s pale face, still immersed in her communing with the heavens.

The joy of reunion was short-lived, as they prepared to confront the nearby murderous intent. Rain raised a finger.

“Just hold them off for 10 minutes…”

“10 minutes?”

“After that, I’ll make sure to finish things. Just give me 10 minutes…”

With a snort, Rem mocked the notion.

“I can hold them off for an hour. Stop showing off and get better quickly. Before you end up seeking ‘natural encounters’ in the afterlife.”



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