Chapter 53.2: The Fairy Tale (2)

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But it wasn’t just the titles.
While this first edition was incomparably more savage in its depiction, the contents were extremely detailed.
It wasn’t just the battle with Kamash and the giants; the various events they went through in Helmuth were also described in considerable detail.

The author of this fairy tale that was published three hundred years ago was speculated to be a bard experienced in picking up various rumors and weaving them into a song.

However, having read this first edition himself, Eugene was sure that the author of this book wasn’t anything like a bard.
The relationship between the characters was depicted in far too real a fashion for a book said to have been written by a bard.

‘It’s just like how I remember it.’

Sienna and Anise got along well.
According to what Mer had said, Sienna would often describe Anise as a snake-like woman.
This evaluation hadn’t surprised him in the least.
During their travels, Sienna had often called Anise a snake bitch to her face. 

Since they had gotten along so well… the two of them may have written this fairy tale together.
If that was the case, it would make sense for them to have used bullshit, such as beautiful or elegant, to describe each other.

‘Or else, one of the two could have written it and then tried to obscure which of them it was by writing like this….’

Was it Sienna? Or could it be Anise? Eugene was lost in thought for a few moments.
Surprisingly… they both had rotten personalities, so he could see either of them pulling bullshit like this.

‘Still, weren’t they being a bit too blunt with these descriptions.’

“Wasn’t this written by Lady Sienna?” Eugene turned to Mer and asked this question rather than pondering it all by himself.

After all, he had with him a familiar who had accompanied Sienna hundreds of years ago.

“Don’t say something so crazy,” Mer, who had been reading a book on magic, responded with a disgusted expression.
“Why would Lady Sienna write such a story?”

Eugene tried to explain himself, “No, well… As I was reading it, I noticed a lot of adjectives that were used to describe Sienna in particular.”

“You’re talking about the ones calling her beautiful, cute, and adorable? Really now… Do you truly believe that Lady Sienna would write about herself like that?” Mer asked him skeptically.

Eugene hesitated, “…Um….”

“Don’t insult Lady Sienna like that.
Unless they’re insane, who would attach such words in front of their own name in a story that they had hand-written themselves?” Mer demanded.

“…Ummm…,” Eugene held back his urge to say something in his own defense.

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“Even if it’s you, Sir Eugene, I won’t forgive you if you insult Lady Sienna,” Mer said, lifting up her clenched fists.

In response to this violent reaction, Eugene continued flipping through the fairy tale without asking further questions.

[Sienna.
I’ve always liked you.]

‘Why is this part the same as in the revised versions?’

There was no way that Sienna would do this.

After reading Hamel’s death scene, Eugene was sure of this. The one who had written this fairy tale was Anise.

‘Didn’t they say that until she left on a pilgrimage, she spent her days in the Holy Empire being called a saint? It looks like such a life must have been boring enough to drive Anise crazy.’

That had to be why she had written something so crazy.
With Anise’s personality, it was likely that she would write about herself as being kind and charming.
As for why she had added this and that to Sienna’s name….

‘She must have wanted to fuck with Sienna.’

Sienna.
I’ve always liked you.

‘And in the process, I was fucked with as well.
That motherfucker.’

Eugene clenched his fists in a surge of frustration.

Although he had read it hoping otherwise, even in this fairy tale, it didn’t really record how the decisive battle with the Demon King of Incarceration ended.
In this, it was similar to the revised versions.
An oath had been sworn, and with this newly forged peace, the members of the party had left Helmuth and returned to their respective homes.
That was how they lived happily ever after.

Happily, it said.

Eugene clicked his tongue and closed the book.
Eugene’s mood further worsened when the portrait of Sienna with a smile that didn’t suit her caught his eye.

“Are you going to have another go?” Mer asked.

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Eugene grunted in confirmation, “Hm.”

Mer observed, “While I don’t think it’s bad to give it another attempt, it seems a little arrogant to attempt it at your level, Sir Eugene.”

He had already heard something similar from her a few times before.
Eugene smirked and headed over to Witch Craft.

“The challenge needs to be difficult to be worthwhile,” Eugene stated.

Mer scoffed, “You keep failing, so how is it worthwhile.”

Although she said this, Mer didn’t try to stop Eugene.
She was secretly interested in what Eugene was attempting.

 

Ten days after the Knights of the Black Lion had left, Eugene had spent most of his waking hours in Akron.

For the first few days, he had studied the magic on the lower floors as Mer had recommended.
The battle magic on the eleventh floor, the fire magic on the night floor, the battlefield magic on the seventh floor, and the spatial magic on the sixth floor.

Eugene had been especially interested in the spatial magic on the sixth floor.
It wasn’t for Blink, which he couldn’t use yet, but instead for studying how to properly use the Cloak of Darkness.
This cloak had been enchanted with the highest levels of spatial magic and was an amazing piece of armor in and of itself, but it could be used in various other ways depending on how skillful you were in handling it.

From the start, it was easy to use the subspace sealed inside the cloak.
It worked just by grabbing any object and placing it inside the cloak.
Taking it back out was also easy.
You just needed to stick your hand inside the cloak and pull the object out.

However, in order to use the cloak to rebound an attack, the spatial coordinates needed to be calculated separately.
In other words, it was necessary to quickly identify the spatial coordinates from which the attack would be received and then designate the coordinates along which the attack was to be returned.
Even just searching for these coordinates required high-level magic.

Even though he’d held great interest in it, Eugene was forced to give up for now.

Eugene returned once more to the twelfth floor.
The Eternal Hole he had seen in Witch Craft just wouldn’t leave his mind. 

So once more, he went back to Witch Craft, saw its contents, and fainted.

From his third attempt onwards, he stopped fainting.
Eugene’s consciousness got used to the absurd movements of the mana.
But that alone wasn’t enough.
What could be gained from simply seeing it happen? If he really wanted to gain something from it, he needed to develop at least some understanding of it.

‘The Eternal Hole.’

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The ultimate achievement in Circle magic.

‘The White Flame Formula.’

The Lionheart clan’s mana training scripture.

‘I’m familiar with controlling mana, and I’m also familiar with the White Flame Formula.’

He thought about trying to combine them through practical application.

It was impossible for the current Eugene to fully reproduce the Eternal Hole.
He needed to at least reach the Ninth Circle to replicate it.

The Eternal Hole.
To put it simply, it was just a matter of holding an infinitely multiplying amount of Circles inside one huge Circle.
By continuously reproducing, entwining, and collapsing the Circles created through this, it amplified any mana put into it.

Eugene didn’t use Circles when casting magic.
He replaced the Circles with his Cores, the Stars of the White Flame Formula.
By rotating his three Stars, he formed a Circle.

But what if he could generate multiple Circles inside the Circle that he formed through his method?

Eugene grinned to himself as he stood in front of Witch Craft.

In his past life, Hamel hadn’t learned the White Flame Formula.
Since he hadn’t learned magic either, he also didn’t have any Circles.

What Hamel had learned was the cheap mana training scripture that was widely spread among mercenaries.
Hamel had added his own knowledge and improvements on top of that.
Afterward, Sienna had even gone through and corrected it.

It didn’t have a fancy name.
Hamel had no intention of writing it down and leaving it for future generations, and he hadn’t had any disciples or descendants to whom he could pass it down.
In the end… the only one in the world who had learned this mana training scripture was Hamel. 

First, you built your core.
Then you burst the mana formed in this core in a chain of explosions.
The mana propelled by this internal explosion quickly spread throughout the body.
The exploded mana wasn’t released outside the body.
By exploding all of his mana, Hamel could bring his full force to bear for a single second.

With just that alone, Hamel was able to slash Kamash’s limbs.

 

—You were born with an instinct for battle.

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This was something that Vermouth had once told him.

 

—You actually paid good money for this kind of mana training scripture?

 

That was what Sienna had said.

 

—I just can’t understand it.
With this kind of… garbage… by practicing this mana training scripture… you were able to reach the level of strength that you have now?

 

He could do it.

Eugene didn’t doubt himself.
He saw that his idea had some possibility of success.
If that was the case, he could definitely do it.
He didn’t necessarily need to perfectly reproduce the Eternal Hole.
With his Third–Star White Flame Formula and the Circle he had created from these Stars, he would explode the mana generated inside the Circle.
It wouldn’t just be any ordinary explosion.
Instead of a singular explosion, there would be a continuous chain of explosions.
If he could manage to do all that as naturally as if he was breathing….

“Since you’ve allowed me to see everything like this….”

Within his consciousness, Eugene saw the infinite sea of mana being used to draw a Circle.
This was the Eternal Hole — the ultimate endpoint of the Circle Magic created by Sienna.
It conveyed a sense of awe even though he had already seen it many times.

By now, he was no longer at risk of falling unconscious.
As he immersed himself in his own consciousness, Eugene watched the flow of mana.
An infinite series of Circles was being created, all contained within one huge Circle.
As he focussed on his consciousness, Eugene’s mana, which was like a speck of dust within this vast sea, began to respond.

 

Just like that….

Two years passed.

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