Chapter 177 – Choice and Awakening (3)
The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 177 – Choice and Awakening (3)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
It might have sounded out of the blue, but the moment he heard it, Frey knew what he meant.
Mana and divine power.
Human and Demigod.
Mortal and transcendent.
Riki looked at Frey with his distinctive, lonely gaze.
“…what would happen if I were to accept that?”
“You’d become similar to a Demigod.”
Riki’s response was brief. (TL: In hangul maybe…)
As if he already knew the result that even Elliah didn’t.
“You won’t feel the changes at first. However, as time goes by, you might become more and more stained by my thoughts. As well as Milled and Indra who just disappeared. They aren’t completely dead. They will wait for other opportunities to take over your body.”
He felt reluctance deep inside of him. If what Riki said was true, then it was a much more serious problem than simply losing his mana.
His personality and thoughts would change. Then, he would no longer be able to call himself Frey.
He would become like the Demigods, whom he hated most?
That was completely unacceptable.
Frey Blake, no, Lukas Trowman’s ego reacted violently to such a thought.
Frey grit his teeth.
The issue with delaying this choice came to mind immediately. (TL: fun fact: ‘Crystal’ and ‘Decision’ are the same word ^-^ wrap your head around that one.)
“So even if I accept the divine power, it will only be the road to destruction.”
“But if I don’t accept the divine power…”
“You’ll die. Ananta’s poison has already penetrated deep into your body. You cannot drive it out with your current divine power or your mana.”
He didn’t even have a choice.
Frey almost collapsed.
He knew the crystal in Riki’s hand was not the real crystal. It was just symbolic.
However, if Frey was to accept the crystal, his real body would also fully accept Riki’s crystal.
Frey’s body would be filled with an enormous amount of divine power several times more than ordinary Demigods’.
And he would no longer be human.
He hated the thought of that.
With all his heart. In fact, he’d rather die.
But he knew he couldn’t.
Frey thought about what would happen if he died.
First, Anastasia and Schweiser would die. His friend, who had finally awoken after a long sleep, would die in vain. Ivan and the rest would also be wiped out by Agni.
Beniang, Snow, and Nora would die there.
Lord had already taken control of the Kastkau Empire and would soon begin to wipe out the Circle’s forces there.
Paragon’s situation would also not be good.
They had more potential than the Circle, but they could not face the Demigods, who had stopped hiding themselves, on their own.
That was how important the fight in this desert was.
In short, the existence of the entire continent was at stake.
Frey’s death would not be alone.
‘I have to accept it.’
Frey stretched his hand forward.
‘As long as even a tiny bit of humanity remains in me, I will use my divine power to fight against the Demigods.’
Hoping that this firm determination would never be shaken, Frey’s outstretched fingers touched the bead.
They stopped just before he could grab it.
Frey’s expression changed.
After he stopped, he looked up at Riki, who was still looking at him with an expressionless face.
He felt something strange.
Was it instinct?
No. It was not something so dull.
There was a sense of logic in this strange feeling. He couldn’t fully explain it.
If only he could explain it, if only he knew where this strange feeling came from…
He had to think.
Did he miss something? Was there anything that stood out?
Anything was fine, so he needed a hint…
[Make a choice.]
These were the words Riki had said to him.
It was weird.
Riki’s suggestion wasn’t much of a choice. If he didn’t accept the divine power, he’d die.
To be obstinate and die instead of accepting the divine power.
Could that even be considered an option?
That wasn’t an option.
Riki wasn’t a fool. He would never make such a foolish suggestion.
So was there another way?
That shouldn’t have been the case either. If there was, he had no reason to hide it.
Frey looked at Riki’s face again.
As he looked at him, he couldn’t help but feel that there was a faint hint of expectation hidden in his gaze.
Right. He wouldn’t.
Frey raised his head as he mumbled that word, and the anxiety disappeared from his face.
A change finally took place on Riki’s expressionless face.
“What did you say?”
“There aren’t two options.”
Frey made a quick decision.
“I will accept the divine power.”
“But I won’t give up my mana.”
Riki looked at Frey’s expression with a blank face.
His confidence had returned. His eyes shined like a sage who’d found the answer to a question that plagued him for a long time.
“You want to have the two powers together. You’re greedy.”
“You already knew that.”
“Huht. You’re right.”
It was the first time he’d expressed any emotion in the mental world.
“I was waiting for that.”
This man was Riki. Although he was only a residual thought, he was still Riki in the end.
That’s why he saved him.
Riki had many expectations for the humans. He believed that Frey would choose the third option.
And disappointing Riki would be no different from insulting Lucid.
“But how? It’s not possible to simply have the two powers.”
“The moment of death is like an eternity.”
Frey looked around, repeating what Riki said.
The mental world.
This was a white space with nothing in it. But it was different from the Abyss.
There, only darkness lurked.
“How long can I stay here?”
“That depends on your mental power. It could be decades or even hundreds of years. If it was a normal human, his mind might just collapse, but for you…”
“That’s good enough.”
Frey was probably the only human who could say that.
Riki shook his head.
“Right. Only you deserve to say that.”
Frey looked down at his hand.
The situation was better than before. His mana released bit by bit.
As time passed, the flow became smoother and smoother.
“You said Indra and Milled are not completely dead, right?”
“Can you bring Indra back?”
Riki’s eyes lit up as he understood Frey’s thoughts.
“You intend to use him as a training partner. That’s a good idea. At first, you can fight him alone and then fight both as you get used to it. If you can defeat both of them, then you’ll probably be able to handle the situation outside.”
“That alone isn’t enough.”
Frey locked gazes with Riki,
“I want to beat you too.”
Riki was lost for words.
Then he suddenly smiled brightly and said.
“It will be difficult.”
No, it would be impossible for the current him. But he had to.
This Riki, who was only a residual thought, was probably weaker than his real body. So if he couldn’t even defeat this Riki, he shouldn’t even think about defeating Lord.
Riki was one of the mountains who needed to be overcome in his journey to his long-cherished goal.
‘Hundreds of years.’
Frey decided not to think too deeply about how long it would take.
Achieving his goals came first, and he knew just how ridiculous his goals were.
Rather than defeating Indra, Milled, and Riki, it would be much more difficult to find a way to absorb the crystal without losing his mana. But he would achieve it.
He was certain of it.
Frey would never give up because he was tired.
When he left this place, it would have been after he had already accomplished everything he set out to do.
* * *
The only way to calculate the passage of time were the appearances of Milled and Indra.
“You guys, I’ll never forgive…!”
The bodies of the two Demigods disappeared in a shower of blood.
They glared at Riki before they died, but there was nothing they could do.
“It’s a week.”
“What do you mean?”
“How long it takes them to reappear.”
At Riki’s words, Frey couldn’t help but ask with an incredulous expression.
“How did you know that?”
“Because I was counting.”
“We should keep track of how much time has passed. There may be some errors, but this is the mental world anyway. There’s no need to be perfect.”
Frey looked speechlessly at Riki who simply sheathed his sword without saying anything else.
Frey also turned his head.
Because this wasn’t the time to be distracted by other things.
“I can’t defeat them in my current state.”
“I know. Focus on what you’re doing. I’ll handle them for now so that they don’t get in the way.”
Riki crossed his arms as he said those words.
Frey knew he wouldn’t have to worry about Indra or Milled anymore. Even if he didn’t pay attention to their appearances, Riki would take care of them. He would protect him.
Frey sat down in the white, empty space and closed his eyes.
He could feel the mana in his body, but it was faint. It was strange.
Even though his body in reality couldn’t even move a finger, Frey’s spirit was extremely stable at the moment.
Even if he couldn’t use it freely, he should still have been able to use his mana to a certain extent.
After a sudden thought, he tried to call upon his divine power as a test.
Indra’s lightning power responded immediately. Its strength had not diminished at all.
Frey’s expression changed.
‘Divine power is also affected by mental power to an extent.’
It wasn’t to the same extent as his mana, but there was still a bit of influence.
Only then did Frey understand the situation in his body.
His mana couldn’t be used because he was on the brink of death. It was also possible that it had something to do with Riki’s crystal. Perhaps his body had already absorbed a part of it, and as a result, the balance Elliah had told him about had been broken.
This would explain why it was so difficult to use his mana.
So the problem was his mana.
He couldn’t do anything with the small amount he was sensing. So the first thing he had to do was increase the amount of mana he could draw upon.
He had a clue.
And surprisingly, this clue was actually his divine power. Depending on how it was processed, it could be used as a material to create an elixir which increased his mana capacity.
In other words, divine power could be converted into mana.
In fact, a similar phenomenon was currently happening in his body.
The first thing that Frey noticed was the change that was taking place within him. His weak mana was slowly flowing towards his divine power. The divine power then violently swallowed the mana.
And after convulsing a few times, the mana would begin to change its properties, becoming part of the divine power.
This was a characteristic of the energy known as divine power. It was particularly aggressive and ferocious towards his mana.
That was why Frey always thought mana and divine power were poles apart.
But that didn’t seem to be the case. It seemed that divine power would not tolerate any other type of energy other than itself. So even if it was a type of energy other than mana, the divine power would react in the same way.
What Frey paid attention to was the process of the mana turning into divine force.
‘Surround, devour, and taint.’
The mana was completely transformed into divine power. If so, then that meant the opposite was also possible.
The divine power that flowed in his body could be converted into mana.
In a way, it was a method similar to the ‘battle’ training method he used in the past.
But the risk was much higher.
This was because it wasn’t a fight between two forces of mana. Instead, he wanted to weaken the divine power to then devour it with his mana.
However, his divine power was not so meek. It ran around violently as it pleased.
It wasn’t as obedient as his mana and seemed to have no intention of changing its nature.
That was because that was one of the properties of mana.
Even when the mana in Frey’s body was stronger than his divine power, it didn’t try to devour it. However, as soon as his divine power gained dominance, it immediately started to devour his mana.
‘No, you don’t.’
It could be considered a difference in opinion.
Now, the mana was the weak one. And seeking harmony was never something the weak could pursue.
The weak needed to be a little hungrier. Needed to be more ferocious. More ruthless.
If it didn’t do that, his divine power would never change.
He had to change his mana.
Frey realised what he’d just been thinking and burst out laughing. This was because the thoughts he’d just had were extremely amusing.
He was thinking about changing the very nature of mana itself.
Had there been anyone in the history of the study of Magical Science who had dared to think in such a way?
He wasn’t even sure if it was possible or not.
In other words, the odds of him succeeding were incredibly low.
But if he could do it, if he could change the very nature of mana itself…
Perhaps that would be the first step towards the mythical 10 stars stage.
(TL: Sorry for the delay, I wasn’t feeling very well, hope this chapter was worth the wait.)
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