Chapter 24.3: Mana Training (2)

‘...At least my current circumstances are incomparably better than my past life,’ Eugene thought as he tried to shake off the bad memories.

Eugene had initiated his mana earlier than he had in his previous life, and he had even learned Vermouth’s White Flame Formula. Due to these facts, it didn’t make sense to compare the current size of his core with the core he had first cultivated in his past life.

Eugene shook off his melancholic feelings and focused on the star around his heart. He began moving his mana, allowing it to flow alongside his blood, but also in different directions. While maintaining the flow of the White Flame Formula, Eugene started warming up his body. Soon, Eugene was nodding with a satisfied expression.

‘Looks good,’ he decided.

Just because your core had a lot of mana, that didn’t mean you were strong. What was important was how you used that mana. The White Flame Formula also strictly abided by this principle. Even with this meager amount of mana, his body movements had already improved noticeably. 

From there, Eugene tried applying the experiences obtained from his previous life. He had always had a knack for handling mana, and he knew just how to maximize his power.

Pow!

A clenched fist burst through the air with a bang. Although he had only punched once, his muscles and bones already felt numb. Even though Eugene hadn’t neglected his physical training, he had yet to familiarize himself with the amplifying effect that mana had on the body.

‘This is something that I’ll just need to gradually get used to.’

After moving his body around a few more times, Eugene concluded that he wasn’t able to create sword-light yet. Although he might be able to succeed if he forcefully tried to squeeze some out, he didn’t want to do something like that so soon.

‘If I pointlessly deplete my core, even taking a day off won’t be enough for me to recover.’

Just like how you could get serious health problems by overworking your body, the same went for the core as well. If he used up all his mana, his core would be depleted, placing a corresponding burden on his body.

“Master Eugene,” Nina called out as she approached.

After setting a heavy water basin down on the ground, she didn’t pause to catch her breath and immediately started wiping Eugene’s body with a dry towel. Eugene stood still, allowing her to work as he continued to think.

‘I might be able to make a contract now,’ he pondered uncertainly.

He had gone through all sorts of things in his previous life, but he had never signed a contract with a spirit. So Eugene was currently unsure if he could summon a spirit with the minimal amount of mana he had now.

“Stand back a little,” Eugene ordered.

“Yes,” Nina immediately skirted backward with a nod of her head.

Eugene slowly took a deep breath as he drew Wynnyd. The bluish-silver blade slid out of its sheath with a smooth ring. Nina’s shoulder trembled as she was startled by this sight. After taking a few more deep breaths, Eugene began drawing mana away from his core.

‘Let’s give it a try,’ he thought with anticipation.

He had never learned any sort of magic, let alone spirit magic. So he couldn’t predict the amount of mana it would take to summon something. As such, he had no choice but to try blindly.

The mana from his core flowed into Wynnyd. The star revolving around his heart began to shine. Strangely, even though he couldn’t see this, he could feel this happening to the star deep inside his body.

Wynnyd’s blade trembled. The magic sword began to hungrily devour all the mana Eugene was feeding it. Sweat once again dripped down from his body, which had just been wiped clean. The blade emitted a soft light, and a gentle breeze started to whirl around Eugene.

“...Aah…” Nina gasped in shock upon seeing such a sight.

As the wind gradually grew stronger, it began fluttering Eugene’s hair. His mouth had dried up out of tension, but Eugene clenched his teeth and continued to infuse his mana into the blade.

Roooooar!

At some point, the gentle breeze began turning into a violent storm. Nina jolted in surprise and drew back even further.

However, the one that was most surprised was Eugene. What was going on? The wind was already so strong that he couldn’t even open his eyes properly, but it was still growing stronger. Even though Wynnyd wasn’t taking in any more mana.

Eugene felt something like a ‘door’ appear inside of his body. This door opened slowly, and as the opening grew wider, the wind grew even stronger. By now, the wind blowing around Eugene had formed a tornado.

[...You are….]

In the center of this tornado, Eugene lifted his head to look around. The fiercely blowing wind seemed to be carrying a voice that was speaking inside of Eugene’s head.

[...Could it really be… are you really Hamel?]

Eugene’s heart started pounding as he tried to find out where this voice was coming from.

“Is that you, Tempest?” he asked.

Tempest was the Wind Spirit King who had bestowed his protection onto the Storm Sword Wynnyd. Eugene had seen Vermouth summon him a few times in his previous life.

[How could it be you? Could it really be that… you’ve reincarnated?]

Eugene began responding to Tempest in his head, ‘You old fucker, how could you tell it was me?’

[As Vermouth’s companion, how could I forget the appearance of your soul?]

Three hundred years had flown by, and even his face had changed, but his soul was still the same. Spirits weren’t beings of the material plane. So the Wind Spirit King, Tempest, had easily recognized Hamel by his soul.

[...It looks like you also remember me.]

‘How on earth did you get here? I wasn’t trying to summon you,’ Eugene demanded.

[It’s been a long time since I last heard Wynnyd’s call. I was curious to see which of Vermouth’s descendants had been chosen to wield it, but then I felt… a familiar soul.]

The wind slowly began to die down. As it did, static began to interfere with Tempest’s voice as it echoed inside his head.

[How could this be? For someone to be reincarnated with their old memories… and as Vermouth’s descendant at that? And it’s Hamel of all people?]

‘Why didn’t Vermouth kill the remaining Demon Kings?’ Eugene suddenly asked.

How had he been reincarnated? Eugene had no idea. He had died in the castle of the Demon King of Incarceration, and by the time he had come to his senses, he was already in the body of a wailing newborn baby.

‘Tell me, Tempest. Didn’t you accompany them on the rest of their journey through the Devildom? Why are the Demon King of Incarceration and the Demon King of Destruction still alive after three hundred years?’ 

[I don’t know why Vermouth made that decision,] Tempest replied. [The only thing I know is that… in the decisive battle with the Demon King of Incarceration… Vermouth sheathed his sword.]

‘What?!’ Eugene exclaimed.

[...I don’t know exactly what happened at that moment.] Tempest’s voice was getting harder to hear, [...Their fight at that time… was fierce but ultimately futile. In the end, only Vermouth and the Demon King of Incarceration were left standing. At the final moment, Vermouth put down his sword and refused to kill the Demon King of Incarceration. Neither did he go on to the castle of the Demon King of Destruction…. Their journey ended at the castle of the Demon King of Incarceration.]

‘...Don’t bullshit me,’ Eugene growled through clenched teeth.

Their journey had just ended here? According to the stories, the Hero Vermouth and his companions had driven the Demon King of Incarceration to the brink of death. However, the Demon King of Incarceration had managed to escape without dying and begged the Demon Lord of Destruction for help.

During Hamel’s death, Vermouth had sworn an oath that he would kill all of the Demon Kings. Of course, Eugene hadn’t been around to hear such an oath, but all the fairy tales agreed on this.

So the hero’s party had headed onwards to the castle of the Demon King of Incarceration. However they could not defeat the two Demon Kings who had joined forces and instead forced them to swear an ‘Oath’ to bring peace to the world….

‘Like I said, don’t bullshit me,’ Eugene demanded as the taste of blood filled his mouth, and his head grew dizzy. ‘What the fuck is with that Oath? Why did they make such an Oath? Why? Vermouth sheathed his sword? Instead of killing the Demon King of Incarceration…?’

[I don’t know anything about that Oath or why Vermouth made such a decision.]

‘So what do you know, you son of a bitch?’

[Only those who were there know what kind of Oath was made. From the moment that Vermouth put away his sword, I could no longer intervene in that situation.]

‘Those who were there…? Didn’t you say that no one was left standing there apart from Vermouth and the Demon King of Incarceration? Doesn’t that mean… everyone else lost consciousness…?! Are you asking me to dig up Vermouth’s corpse and ask him?’

[There’s no more time….] Tempest let out a long sigh. [With your inadequate mana, it would be impossible for you to have summoned me…. I forcibly opened the door to come here, so now I have to close it.]

‘Answer me before you go!’

[I told you I don’t know, so why do you keep asking me…. I would also like to ask Vermouth why he did that….]

The wind was fading into nothingness, and Tempest’s voice came drifting in and out.

[...Next time… when you have enough strength….]

Eugene grabbed onto something to steady his swaying body as he glared down at Wynnyd.

[Then… let’s meet again… some time.]

“You motherfucker,” unable to hold it in any longer, Eugene spat out a curse. “Tell me the full story… before you leave….”

The wind finally vanished.

And Eugene passed out with a nosebleed.

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