The Book Eating Magician - Chapter 228
Chapter 261 – Unexpected Reunion (2)
“Ah, no. How on earth…?”
「Boy, that is what I want to ask. How did you end up in the East Continent? 」
Unlike Theodore who was stunned silent, Aquilo sounded quite excited.
Hadn’t she come to this place hoping to find him? If it was Aquilo, it couldn’t be a coincidence. Immediately after Theodore clashed with Zest Speitem in the Sipoto wilderness, the dimensional movement had occurred, leaving no traces in the dust.
It was impossible for navigation magic to have kept track of his actions.
「Hey, I’m not joking. Do you know how much I suffered? I traveled from the north to the south and all over the West Continent. It made me want to quit. 」
However, Aquilo was connected to Theodore with blood. So, it was possible for her to pinpoint Theodore’s location anywhere in the continent, since their mental connection could go beyond a thousand kilometers.
It was naturally Meltor’s king and the tower masters who had seen the possibilities involved in this.
“Meltor commissioned you to look for me.”
「Correct,」 Aquilo confirmed. Then she continued to explain in a cheerful tone, 「At first I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. I couldn’t feel you no matter where I looked in the West Continent. Later, I looked for you around the outskirts of the West Continent and felt something strange. 」
「 Even if I couldn’t connect to you, there was a reaction as I got closer. So, I entered the magic boundary. 」
Theodore responded to the unexpected words, “Magic… boundary.”
Magic Boundary was a place that magicians and warlocks often called the Abyss. It was a ‘hole’ in the material system which was governed by natural laws, and it was referred to as a space where life couldn’t survive.
The Abyss was a place where Satomer had spent several years trying to pass through. According to Aquilo, her blood connection with Theodore was blurred even in that place.
「But I couldn’t find you, so I changed my thoughts. ‘The boy isn’t in the West Continent.’ 」
“…So, you came to the East Continent. Great.”
Theodore admired it. The reasoning itself was surprising, but it wasn’t that inconceivable for Aquilo, who could travel anywhere using the sea. It was an accessible distance for her. The proof of this was that Aquilo had found Theodore before anyone else, and it also indicated that she was the right person for this search mission.
「Now, will you call me to where you are? I have been wandering for over a month, so I don’t want to move any further on my feet. 」
“I understand. Wait for an hour.”
It sounded like childish grumbling, but Theodore couldn’t refuse Aquilo’s request.
However, summoning an adult dragon required considerable preparation. Theodore was able to offset most of the burden with the contract, but it was his previous experience with summoning Aquilo that greatly shortened the required preparation. Otherwise, it would take him half a day to complete this magic circle.
Then exactly one hour later…
The magic circle, which Theodore had drawn on the outskirts of the village, flashed with a blue light. The dark sky was brightened, and the silhouette of a woman appeared. The curves of her body were eye-catching even in the dim lighting.
The presence she emitted couldn’t be compared to a human’s. Unlike the last time they met, she currently wore a blue robe, which revealed the sea dragon’s beautiful appearance.
“It has been a while, Boy! Although, it was a very short time for me.”
“I’m glad to see you, Aquilo.”
How many months had it been? The merciless tyrant of the sea gave a pleasant greeting and stretched out her hand. For a dragon who lived for thousands of years, a period of three months was just like three hours or three days to a human.
Theodore grasped her hand. It was cool and had a soft texture. Theodore might’ve felt embarrassed if it wasn’t for his recent experience with Lust.
“Hrmm…” However, Aquilo noticed the difference and instantly narrowed her eyes. Theodore didn’t know why, but he felt a chill at this moment. Then he removed his hand as the three-tailed fox emerged from his chest.
“Oh?” The dragon’s eyes looked the fox up and down. “What is that fox? Was it reborn like this?”
“In the East, it is called a spirit.”
“It is much cuter than other kids. Besides, it has quite a lot of strength for a kid? It may be able to grow into a sacred creature.”
Aquilo stroked the fur of the frightened three-tailed fox and looked at its inner strength.
A dragon’s eyes had excellent insight.
The fox had become Eight-Tails for a while due to the Receptacle of Solitude, and some remnants of Eight-Tails still remained. It had consumed a tremendous amount of power during the struggle with Theodore and the two spirits, but if it kept growing over the next hundred years, it might become a nine-tailed fox.
However, Theodore turned his attention to another topic.
‘It will take at least 700 years, so I don’t think it matters.’
Unless special measures were taken, even a magician who reached the 8th circle barely lived beyond 300 years. 700 years was only achievable for the legendary 9th circle magicians or by becoming a high ranking undead.
Theodore roughly finished the greeting with Aquilo and said, “Let’s talk more in the village. How about it?”
“Okay, I want to rest on land for the first time in a while.”
“Ah, excuse me for a moment.”
Before Aquilo could ask about what Theodore meant, one of his hands hit her forehead. Aquilo froze in place. Theodore’s magic power spread out from the point where he touched her. It was simple magic that overlaid the target with a magic illusion.
“Okay, all done.”
The beautiful Aquilo now looked like an ordinary village girl. Aquilo belatedly realized the situation. “Hrmm, you don’t want me to show my beauty to others? Has the boy become a man?”
“Well, something like that. There will be no man anywhere who won’t stare if they see you.”
“Then let’s go. The village is right in front of us, so we can walk there.”
As Aquilo remained quiet, Theodore started walking toward the lights in the west. She followed behind him and muttered in a low voice, “…Wow, it was a bit dangerous just before.”
It was fortunate that it was dark because Aquilo’s pale skin couldn’t hide her agitation.
* * *
The two people changed their appearances with illusion magic and quietly entered the village. The village wasn’t very large, but it wasn’t bad since there was an inn for visitors to stay in. Theodore booked two rooms with a few silver coins and sat down at the same table as Aquilo.
“Sigh, then where should I begin?” Aquilo had a pipe in her mouth as always.
“I have a lot I want to ask, but… tell me about what happened to the two northern powers after I disappeared.”
“Okay. As you have guessed, the king and tower masters of Meltor know about your survival thanks to me. The other side isn’t aware of it even now. So, if the incident of your attack is publicized, a war might break out.”
“…Perhaps.” Some might see it as him being arrogant, but Theodore calculated his value and nodded calmly.
A person who created the alliance with Elvenheim and who had a blood contract with Aquilo. Furthermore, there was news that a 7th Circle magician had been attacked by a sword master from the enemy? If it hadn’t been for Aquilo, Meltor would’ve accepted Theodore’s death as a fact.
There was only one thing which could start from publicizing this incident—the recurrence of war during the armistice!
It was clear that the wrath of the kingdom that had lost its hero wouldn’t stop until someone paid for it.
Additionally, Andras had lost their 4th, 6th, and 7th Swords, so their power was now much comparable to Meltor’s. If a fire ignited at this point between the two northern powers, they would bite at each other until only one side was left.
‘Win or lose, both sides will be damaged.’
In other words, both sides were boiling over. There were also third forces awaiting for the sinking of the two superpowers. Immediately after victory was decided, the allied forces of the central part of the continent could then avoid the north.
Andras’ inner thoughts were unknown, but the upper hierarchy of Meltor wanted to avoid this situation.
“Andras has remained unexpectedly silent. According to the masked man in white, it was an inside conflict? It is said that the emperor wants to continue the truce, while the crown prince’s faction wants a confrontation.”
“Hmm, the crown prince?”
The crown prince had been the one who sent one of the empire’s Seven Swords as a consumable item, and he had also caused Andras to lose a god sword. Theodore only guessed these, but he was convinced by Aquilo’s words. The prince was behind the assassination attempt on Theodore and was eager for the unification of the northern powers.
He clenched his fists and remembered the prince’s name.
“Oh, and this is my question,” Aquilo added.
Then at this moment, she raised two fingers and asked him, “Boy, did you stop the number 2?”
To be exact, it had been the senior demon Magnus whom he had summoned, but Theodore couldn’t say that. However, Aquilo was already convinced by his reaction. It was clear that Theodore was involved.
“I knew it. The 2nd Sword can be called the trump card of the crown prince, but he didn’t appear in this situation. It makes sense now.”
Theodore listened to Aquilo’s words and opened his mouth, “The 2nd Sword is the crown prince’s trump card…”
“The 1st Sword belongs to the emperor. I determined this through the process of elimination, but he really didn’t say a word at the conference.”
“Wait a minute, what are you talking about now?” Theodore hurriedly asked as he heard some words that couldn’t be overlooked. Apart from discussing the truce, the relationship between the two northern powers had continued for centuries without any exchanges.
The ambassador had come to Meltor a few years ago, and now there had been another meeting of the northern powers during the three months he had been gone?
“This is my way of talking. Well, isn’t it good?” Aquilo shrugged before speaking again, “It was around a month before I left for the East Continent. In the central border area of the north, I participated in a secret meeting with Red. It was clear they wanted to use me, but I didn’t mind.”
It was the habit of a blue dragon to not move if there was no price, but the situation would change if it was for their own interests. As such, Kurt III hadn’t missed this opportunity.
Veronica and Aquilo were equivalent to three ordinary masters. She wouldn’t intervene in the conflict between nations, but if Andras attacked first, she could attack in the name of self-defense. It had been a trap from Meltor’s side, and Aquilo had gone despite knowing all of this.
“The biggest problem wasn’t me, but the other person.”
Aquilo laughed ominously. “Only the 1st Sword and the crown prince came to the meeting. The 2nd Sword didn’t appear. Everyone knew what he was doing, but the crown prince tried to provoke a fight.”
“It was a really sad provocation. Perhaps it was because he said you died a dog’s death in a poor kingdom? Someone was rattled by those words.”
Theodore started sweating as he realized what she meant. Aquilo would’ve ignored the provocation, so who else at the meeting would have responded?
“It seems like you’ve guessed it? That’s right. In the end, Red launched a preemptive attack.”
It was truly Veronica, who didn’t betray expectations.
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