Chapter 145 – Emergency Meeting (6)
The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 145 – Emergency Meeting (6)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
It was finally the day of the meeting.
Therefore, the residence of the Jun family in Kausymphony, where the meeting was being held, was filled with many mysterious guests.
Shepard looked around at the different circles that filled the seats around him.
There was a stream of big players coming in one after another. A sight that was rarely seen except at the regular Circle meetings.
“Aren’t you excited, Honor Shepard?”
One of the Force Honors of the Strow Necklaces, Steve Jacks, laughed as he said those words.
Shepard turned to him with an incredulous expression.
“Don’t you understand the current situation?”
“Haha. Even those who don’t know will be paying attention. After all, this is the Trowman Rings’ first official appearance in a long time.”
The remark couldn’t be denied.
Even now, there were people who looked towards the Warp Stone without filling the seats prepared for them. These people were probably waiting for the Trowman Rings, who had yet to make an appearance.
“There’ve been a lot of rumors. Beniang Argento’s awakening, the growth of the circle members, the perfect subjugation of all the nearby small and medium circles. Well, it’s still the rumored ‘Frey Blake’ who is the most eye-catching.”
Shepard contemplated inwardly, and Steve’s eyes glistened.
“Come to think of it, didn’t Honor Shepard meet him before?”
“I did, a long time ago. He wasn’t part of the Circle yet.”
Even at that time, Shepard had thought Frey was an extraordinary person. But he never could have imagined that he would become the Circle Rounder of the Trowman Rings or that he could fix the collapsing circle.
“I met him once too.”
“I know. You were the one who went to recruit him back when he was staying at the magic tower.”
“I didn’t expect him to be such an extraordinary man. It is really unfortunate. If I had been a bit faster, he could have joined our circle.”
No. He wouldn’t have.
Shepard shook his head inwardly.
No matter how fast they were, Shepard didn’t believe Frey would have entered any of the Three Great Circles.
“I hope they come soon. Are they coming late on purpose?”
When he saw Steve giggling to himself, Shepard couldn’t help but release the sigh he had been suppressing.
Even in a crisis like this one, there was no feeling of urgency.
‘Geotanbul was destroyed, and the capital of Silkid was taken down.’
Both countries had military strength that could be compared to the top powers on the continent. Nevertheless, they were rendered helpless when the Demigods revealed their fangs.
However, this fact wasn’t that strange.
Neither general military knowledge nor war strategies could work against them. They were monsters who could wipe out hundreds of soldiers with just one simple gesture.
The only ones who could do anything about them was the Circle.
That was why this meeting was called and they all gathered.
Suddenly, the noisy room became completely quiet.
Even before he looked, Shepard was sure he knew the reason.
Steve muttered in a low voice.
As he lifted his head, Shepard saw a group of people walking forward while receiving the attention of every single pair of eyes in the room.
“The Trowman Rings.”
* * *
There were a total five members from the Trowman Rings attending the meeting. And no one would deny that the most prominent among them was the Circle Master, Beniang Argento.
Her green hair and eyes, which were rare even across the entire continent, and calm demeanour immediately drew the attention of everyone.
The gazes of those in the crowd sharpened, and some of them who knew her from before couldn’t help but feel a bit of admiration in their hearts.
Shepard Jun was one of those people.
‘She’s so different that I almost didn’t recognise her.’
The current Beniang was almost the complete opposite of her previous timid and introverted self. Her calm but resolute face seemed to carry the dignity one would expect to see in a Circle Master.
Beniang’s changed demeanour also let everyone know that the Trowman Rings had indeed changed.
Shepard’s gaze then turned to those who’d come with Beniang.
‘Those two are Gisellan and Eizek.’
These two had chosen to remain with the Trowman Rings even when the majority of the circle executives decided to leave.
Especially Eizek, who was so talented that many circles drooled over the prospect of attaining him.
The other two were covered by their robes, and Shepard couldn’t see their faces as their hoods were up.
‘…generally speaking, they’re more likely to be Fianne and Frey.’
However, at least one of them was someone completely different. This was because this person was much too small to be an adult male. (TL: what a jab at all the short guys and tall girls)
‘Then is the other person Frey?’
Honor Fianne was also extremely talented, but he was young and inexperienced, so it might have been a bit inappropriate to bring him to such an important meeting.
Although Frey, on the other hand, was much younger than Fianne, he had a mind that no one in the Circle could read easily. Most importantly, he was the Circle Rounder for the Trowman Rings.
There was absolutely no way he would miss such an important event when he held such a high position.
Someone walked towards the Trowman Rings’ group with light footsteps.
Shepard’s expression changed greatly when he saw who this person was.
‘Why is he…’
Was he going to pick a fight?
If so, they had to stop it.
Even Shepard knew the conflict between them. It wasn’t something simple that could be solved with a few words.
But by that time, the man was standing in front of Beniang.
“It’s been a while, Beniang.”
Gisellan’s expression immediately became one filled with hostility while Eizek, on the other hand, had a look of disgust.
“…Rounder Sven. No, it should be Honor Sven now, right?”
Sven Heimdrik, the man who once held the position of Circle Rounder of the Trowman Rings, simply chuckled.
Gisellan didn’t try to conceal his contempt as he said.
“I didn’t expect you to approach us first.”
“Why can’t I talk to you? Even though we are now walking different paths, we used to be one family.”
When Sven slickly said those words, Eizek grit his teeth. In his heart, he wanted to rip that dirty mouth off that man’s face.
Despite his position as number two in the circle, this man was the one who left the circle the fastest after Nozdog’s massacre, and then, he quickly joined another circle.
He even joined the Lucid Swords instead of another magic-oriented circle.
That was why, despite being an 8 star Wizard, he was only able to get the position of Force Honor.
At that time, Beniang was certain that Sven’s defection would cause the circle to collapse, so in order to prevent his withdrawal, she bowed her head and begged.
However, Sven pretended not to hear Beniang’s request and left the Trowman Rings.
Following that, the circle’s young talents, artifacts and even its funds were swiftly absorbed by other circles. So in a sense, he was even more resentful than the Three Great Circles, who were known to have organised the fall of the Trowman Rings by using Nozdog’s hands.
‘…no. It’s possible…’
This man might have directly been involved in the downfall of the circle. After all, despite everything that happened, he did not sustain many injuries in the battle with Nozdog.
With that in mind, it was impossible for Gisellan to maintain his composure when Sven was standing in front of him.
Just looking at his face made him want to vomit.
“It’s been a while.”
Beniang, on the other hand, nodded calmly as she spoke.
She didn’t even frown as she showed a rather relaxed attitude.
Even Gisellan and Eizek couldn’t help but feel their hearts fill with pride at that moment.
This young lady, who had always hidden behind Osel’s back in the past, was finally showing that she was worthy of the title ‘Circle Master’.
“I also want to solve our issues with you, but before that, there’s something I need to remind you of.”
No. She had already long surpassed their expectations.
“You are no longer the Circle Rounder. And I am no longer just Beniang Argento.”
Beniang’s gaze became cold.
“I am now a Circle Master, Honor Sven. Be polite.”
Sven’s expression changed.
“I won’t pursue this rudeness any further. After all, even though we currently walk different paths, we were once family.”
While saying that, Beniang walked past Sven.
“Now. Let’s go.”
The Trowman Rings’ members followed Beniang without a word.
After walking for a while, Eizek couldn’t help but speak up in a pleased tone.
“Master Beniang, that response was perfect.”
“Hoho. I can’t even keep my pride off my face. I can’t believe I’m so old I get carried away by my emotions…”
“P-, please be quiet for a second.”
Beniang said these words with a straight face, but inside, her heart was pounding, and her face was burning.
It had taken all her willpower just to say those few words just now.
After all, people didn’t just change overnight. Right now, Beniang was doing her best to ‘pretend to be brave’ like Frey had told her to.
Gisellan and Eizek were shocked for a moment, then they realised that a certain man was still not there yet.
They wondered if they would be able to get through the meeting without him.
* * *
Three days before the meeting.
Elliah’s residence in the Frozen Lands was a strange place.
After Diablo, Snow and Nora left, she headed to a place where the blizzard was somehow blowing even more fiercely.
The winds were so strong that even Frey had trouble keeping his eyes open, and the freezing blizzard hit him exceptionally hard.
Then, as if magically, it all disappeared. There was no wind, no snow.
When he looked around, Frey realised he was in a place where fresh grass was growing. The ever-present snowstorm was nowhere to be seen, and there was even warm light, though he wasn’t sure if it was from the sun.
The small hut, which sat in the center of this paradise, immediately made Frey think about Riki. Just like his, the moment they opened the door and entered, it was revealed that this space was much larger than expected.
It was the Demigods’ method of transportation, but it wasn’t something that every Demigod was capable of.
In fact, it was something that could only be used by Demigods at the Apocalypse level and higher.
Of course, he had long known that Elliah was an Apocalypse level Demigod.
The two of them sat at a table, facing each other. However, Elliah didn’t offer him tea like Riki had.
She didn’t even open her mouth to say something first. It was as if she was pressuring Frey to do so.
After all, he was the one who would be at more of a disadvantage as time dragged on, so he had to speak first.
“You told me you’d help me reach 9 stars.”
“You’re talking as though you know how to do it.”
Elliah let out a soft laugh.
“Why? Is it strange for a Demigod to know the secrets of magic?”
“Wouldn’t it be similar to me saying I know how to help Demigods develop their divine powers to Lord’s level?”
“Hmm. That’s a good analogy, but there’s something you overlooked. Have you ever heard of a normal Demigod reaching Lord’s level?”
Frey looked at Elliah while thinking that those words were said in a strange way.
“I’ve seen 8 star Wizards become 9 stars before. I suppose I’ll call it awakening for convenience’s sake. After seeing it so many times, it wasn’t hard for me to conclude the conditions.”
It made sense.
After all, how many Wizards had Elliah fought over the past thousands of years?
They would have had to be at least 7 stars to face a Demigod, and the number of 8 stars certainly wouldn’t be few. Otherwise, they would die before they could even make a Demigod like Elliah feel even a little strain.
It was incredibly difficult for the average Wizard to reach 7 or 8 stars. But 9 stars was even more ridiculous than that.
First of all, the body and mind must be ‘complete’.
In other words, one needed to have the right ‘container’ in order to move on to the next stage.
In addition, one had to fulfill two other conditions.
“The crisis of death. And the torrent of emotion.”
This time, Elliah’s eyes lit up.
“I can’t believe you have a perfect grasp of the conditions. You really are a strange human. Even 9 star Wizards who already awakened successfully weren’t completely sure of the conditions…”
“You’re right. The Wizards I fought against… they reached 9 stars after meeting those conditions.”
Instead, Frey was also surprised.
No matter how many times one saw it happen, it wasn’t easy to figure out what the conditions were.
Frey was also unsure of how he’d reached 9 stars in the past. He wasn’t even able to make a guess.
It was only after being stuck in the Abyss for 4,000 years that he managed to figure out the answer. The time he spent thinking about it was incalculable.
That was why Frey had gone to Diablo.
He thought about getting put into a near-death state after fighting with him. After that, he would release his control, letting his emotions run wild.
Diablo looked similar to Nozdog, one of the Apocalypses. That made it easier to fool his senses.
Frey would have been able to make Diablo into Nozdog through a type of self-hypnosis. After all, it would be easier to incite his emotions because of the subconscious disgust he felt towards Diablo.
‘But it’s not as easy as it sounds.’
After reaching 7 stars, it was already hard for your emotions to fluctuate. At that point, it was already incredibly difficult to experience emotional turmoil, and after reaching 8 stars, this iron-like composure became even more solid.
In that regard, the Demigods’ presence was special to Frey.
On the entire continent, there were only two things that could stir Frey’s emotions.
The Demigods… and his friends from 4,000 years ago.
Frey looked at Elliah and said.
“So you will help me by creating the environment I need… is that what you’re saying?”
Elliah nodded cheerfully.
“Do you have any experience making someone reach 9 stars like this?”
“I don’t. But I wanted to test my theory. To see whether it was possible to ‘fabricate’ an awakening to 9 stars.”
Elliah’s words pierced the heart of the matter perfectly.
This was also Frey’s biggest concern when he initially came up with the plan.
Would it be possible to reach 9 stars by faking a near-death experience and causing his emotions to explode through hypnosis that was practically self-brainwashing?
There was no definite answer to this question.
He’d tried to ponder upon this for a long time in the Abyss, but since he had no body to use as a ‘container’, he could only make conjectures without any definitive conclusions.
It was actually a good thing for him that his helper had changed from Diablo to Elliah.
Elliah was an actual Demigod, making it much easier for his emotions to fluctuate, and if she wanted to, she could give him an authentic near-death experience.
At first, he’d been a bit hesitant, but now, Frey realised this was actually a very good opportunity.
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