The Book Eating Magician - Chapter 235
Chapter 268 – Three Days Free (2)
Theodore was returning to Paragranum’s laboratory after half a year, and it was still filled with bizarre things. Homunculus sleeping in huge tanks, crystal skulls, strange gemstones, brewing potions, bubbling reagents…
If Theodore visited this place without knowing Paragranum’s identity, he would’ve misunderstood it as a warlock’s lair.
“Come, there is no hurry, so sit in this chair.”
Perhaps it was because Theodore looked uneasy that Paragranum took out a chair left in a corner of the room and sat Theodore in it. Then she sat at a big table and started to move her quill over the parchment. It was a silent agreement that allowed him to be in here.
Theodore was puzzled for a moment as he looked at her back before laughing. ‘…Does this mean these medicines are really valuable?’
The top priority for the grimoire, Paragranum, was to acquire materials to achieve the purpose of her existence.
As she had said in the past, she wasn’t good at combat. So, this bag of medicine was like a pie dropping out of the sky. It was a chance to obtain rare materials without invading the territory of a dragon!
30 minutes later, Paragranum got up. She took a few designs that she had drawn and placed them on the easel in front of Theodore. The designs showed a figure which resembled a human and complex calculation formulas. It was something that couldn’t be understood unless Theodore’s knowledge of alchemy reached a certain level.
As he admired it, Paragranum opened her mouth, “Cough, let me explain the first design. It is a war machine that switches from the existing bipedal walk to the far more advanced quadruped walk, and three pairs of arms appear like aura blades.
“By changing the entire skeleton to an orichalcum alloy and converting the blood to a high-density liquid―”
Theodore interrupted Paragranum words, “No, wait a minute. Quadruped walk and six arms? Did I hear that wrongly?”
“You heard it properly. This promises to be three times more powerful than before. I call it Blade Centauros!”
Was it a monster that mixed aspects from the East Continent and West Continent? Theodore momentarily lose his composure and shouted, “I don’t need that!”
Meanwhile, Paragranum inquired like she was confused, “You don’t need it? You are about to go into the battlefield, so you need something with a strong fighting power. If you are dissatisfied with the appearance, you can customize it into any form you want.”
“There is too much to fix! I can’t wander around with something like this as my property. I will think about it a little bit if I can use your name as an excuse.”
“Ummm, that is a bit difficult.”
It might be different with a human form automaton, but Theodore couldn’t take credit for a war weapon in this shape. If Theodore acknowledged ownership, he would have to give details about the maker and the materials used. He couldn’t accept being mistaken as a warlock just for more attack power.
Theodore thought this and asked Gluttony, ‘Is this realistically possible?’
-There are no loopholes in the theory. It is true that this appearance can exert three times Lloyd Pollan’s combat power. The problem is that in order to maintain the output, more than ten times the materials are consumed. I calculate that it will only be able to fight 30 minutes.
‘…Then it isn’t possible.’
–Well, it isn’t bad as a disposable item. I’ll leave it to User’s discretion.
Theodore pointed out the drawbacks, and Paragranum clicked her tongue. She hadn’t thought Theodore would notice.
“Tch, that’s right. Damn Gluttony…! Even if Gluttony doesn’t have the same design ability as me, it can see through the design…?”
The grimoire, Paragranum, only excelled at ‘alchemy,’ while Gluttony showed more abilities.
However, the difference wasn’t enormous.
Paragranum would win if they were competing in the same environment, but it was impossible to avoid Gluttony’s insight when it came to this design. Theodore didn’t know if Paragranum could lie, but Paragranum’s principle of existence was based on an equal exchange. As such, it was taboo to lie during negotiations.
“It can’t be helped. I will have to scrap this design.” Paragranum tore up the first design and moved to the next one. “Next is Hell Blazer.”
“It is another tremendous name.”
“Please listen. This design allows for a widespread attack by placing the 7th Circle magic, Inferno, along with aura swords and armor, to be unleashed. The internal heating is a bit intense, but after 5 minutes of cooling, it will restart without any problems.”
“A type of magic gun…”
When comparing the same level magicians and knights on the battlefield, the reason why magicians were superior was their ranged attacks.
Even the most skills aura users couldn’t match the efficiency of a magician’s destruction. It was the same with the sword masters, with a few exceptions. Without the destructive power of the 4th Sword, Pan Helliones, it was hard for an aura user to match the destruction of great magic.
Paragranum’s design wasn’t enough to fill that limit, but it could add another strong firepower to Meltor. It was worth considering, unlike the first design.
“Then the cost?”
Paragranum smiled brightly and replied, “70% of that bag.”
“It needs the heart of an Eastern dragon, seals of a high ranking spirit, and 10 liters of manticore blood. There will be a deficit if I don’t receive 70% of that bag.”
“Dismissed,” Theodore rejected the proposal without hesitation and shook his head. “I’m sorry but I have to use some of these as medicines. I can’t afford to waste 70% of it repairing the automaton.”
“Hrmm, should I discard this design as well?”
“The amount I am willing to pay is up to 50%. Choose a form that other people won’t pay attention to. Otherwise, this isn’t going to end.”
“Um… I understand. Wait a moment.”
Paragranum’s actions became faster after several conditions were attached. She cut the designs down to less than five, and they looked at the drawings in order. Theodore was interested in some of them, while he dismissed others. After spending 10 minutes thinking about it, two designs were left.
Then he made a choice.
“It is complicated but practical. The commission has been received.”
Paragranum thought the design Theodore chose was a good choice. However, it was obvious that she would praise him no matter what he chose. She looked around Theodore, sorting through all the clutter. There was no reason for him to stay in this space any longer after the transaction took place.
“I will complete it before you go, so don’t look for me in the meantime. I need to do careful work.”
“I understand. Ah, that reminds me,” Theodore said as he was reminded of something he’d forgotten, and he asked her, “You aren’t participating in this war?”
“Not as the female avatar but as the Yellow Tower Master. I heard that you never participated in the past wars, but I think this is a situation that shouldn’t be missed.”
“Umm, indeed, it is a good opinion from your perspective,” Paragranum spoke positively, before rejecting the idea, “But like I said earlier, I don’t have many combat skills. I am strong in a space that I have built, but I won’t be a big help on the battlefield that is changing at every moment. My avatar will function as a 5th circle magician in ‘Quattro’, but my role is the defense of Mana-vil.”
“Defense? That is Blue Tower Master’s role…”
More questions appeared as though he was digging continuously into an onion. Paragranum shrugged and raised an index finger to her lips.
It was hard to tell the meaning of the gesture.
Theodore didn’t back down, so she opened her mouth with a serious expression, “From this point onward, it is a confidential secret that only the king of Meltor is allowed to know. I want to let you know, but from the standpoint of the Yellow Tower Master, Norden, it isn’t possible. Still, if you pay me…”
“Ah, it is okay.”
“The price… eh?”
Theodore grinned at Paragranum. “The situation won’t get better if I know the secret, right?”
“So, you don’t have to tell me.”
One day he would find out, so Theodore got up without raising a fuss. He gave a short farewell and left the yellow tower.
Paragranum, who was left alone, stared at where Theodore had just been like it was ridiculous. Then she burst out laughing, “Ahahahahaha! What’s with that person?! It isn’t normal for a magician to not respond to a secret! Gluttony’s owner is really interesting!”
The young girl wiped the tears caused by the physiological process as she stood in this empty lab.
“It is unfortunate that I only got 30% of the goods, but… isn’t this fun? Anyway, he will come back. It is his destiny.”
Was a hero born or made?
Either way, the hero always had to go through tremendous suffering and trials. Just like how Zest had turned the automaton into scrap metal, there was no guarantee that this round of repairs would help it to hold out for long.
The grimoire waited for that day to come as she set out the ruined automaton in the room. The repairs were due in three days, a tight timeframe even with Paragranum’s skills.
* * *
After handling the repairs of the automaton, Theodore moved toward the red tower.
He’d met the king in the morning, and he had been busy negotiating with Paragranum when the sun was in the middle of the sky. His body wasn’t greatly fatigued, but he felt like resting now.
Regardless of whether it was fortunate or unfortunate, there weren’t many people left inside the red tower due to the war preparations. Theodore greeted three people as he passed by and arrived at his room.
The door was clean, despite him having been gone for a few months. It was proof that people managed the red tower well. Theodore grabbed the doorknob with a giddy feeling. The metal door wasn’t rusty at all. He unlocked the door with an unlocking spell and turned his hand clockwise. Simultaneously, the closed door opened.
The heat which had been trapped in the room knocked against his face.
It was like hot water being poured onto his thighs, which made the confused Theodore look ahead reflexively. Why was there hot air in a room where no one should be present? This was like entering a hot bathhouse. Then he saw the source of the heat sitting before him.
“You are late.”
With red hair and golden eyes, her beauty could be seen at a glance even in the darkness. It was the great magician of the red tower, Veronica. She looked at Theodore with a dour expression as she sat on the chair and grumbled, “I’ve waited since morning to surprise you but… I guess you didn’t want to see me.”
“T-Tower Master.” Theodore’s eyes widened as he made eye contact with Veronica.
“I thought you were still on the battlefield…?”
“Orta. I stopped by to check up on that idiot. I have to go back soon, so I wanted to talk to you. Shit,” she grunted as wriggled on Theodore’s chair.
Even Veronica, whose body and mind were like steel, was revealing the fact that the battlefield wasn’t a good place. The heat around her body reflected her mood.
Veronica got up, approached him and opened her arms like she was hoping for something. “I don’t like acting like this, but I am having a hard time these days. So, can you cheer me up just once?”
“C-Cheer you up…”
“Don’t you see my pose?”
Theodore noticed it without needing an explanation. Having her arms wide open indicated she wanted a simple hug. It could be called an expression of kindness.
Theodore had long lost his hesitation, so he stepped forward and held Veronica in his arms. Her body temperature was a few degrees higher than that of normal people, so it felt like his body temperature was also going up.
‘But it isn’t that hot…’
Veronica was probably being careful. The temperature of the heat haze near her never increased. A short time passed by. It seemed like Veronica hadn’t expected Theodore to respond to her request, because her expression was stiff.
“Kid.” In contrast to Veronica’s hot body temperature, Theodore heard her cool voice in his ears. “Why is the smell of Blue so thick around you?”
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