Chapter 180 – Choice and Awakening (6)
The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 180 – Choice and Awakening (6)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
He suffered a horrific defeat.
From the start, there was nothing he could do. He ended up with all the bones in his body broken, and his muscles torn.
‘He’s a monster.’
After his short battle with Riki, he once again realised this fact. His opponent was a monster amongst monsters.
He was the only Demigod who could threaten Lord. The bonafide number two among the Demigods.
He was strong beyond reason.
Frey couldn’t find any weaknesses.
From the moment Riki drew his sword, he literally became invincible.
He could cut anything. Absolute, Indra’s lightning, and even his divine magic power.
In front of him, Frey couldn’t help but feel that all of his means dried up. They became like fallen leaves, drifting weakly in the wind.
“I need some time to think.”
This was the first time Frey had ever mentioned something like this.
It was different from when he fought Indra and Milled. At that time, he was confident that he could defeat the two of them as long as he learned how to properly use his divine magic power.
However, he had yet to think of a way to beat Riki. First, he had to think about how he would fight him.
Riki lowered his sword and nodded.
Frey sat down and began to ponder.
‘Is my only chance before he draws his sword?’
It wasn’t that he had flaws or weaknesses. Riki’s strength without his sword was not something that could be disregarded.
However, compared to when Riki drew his sword, it was definitely weaker.
The problem was that the speed with which Riki drew his sword was too swift. There were no hints or foreshadowing.
There were times when the sword was drawn before Frey even knew what was happening, even though Riki’s hand hadn’t been on the sword before it was drawn.
At least at his current level, there was no way for him to target that gap.
As Frey was wondering if he’d met a dead end, Riki spoke.
“Think about how you defeated Indra.”
Was that a hint?
Frey’s expression became serious.
That was probably the best hint Riki could give. Usually, this kind of enlightenment was useless if you didn’t reach it yourself.
‘…the reason I was able to defeat Indra.’
There were many factors, but the decisive factor was the difference in will. Indra was tired of Frey who became stronger and stronger as he stepped on him.
He was shaken as Frey became more and more proficient in divine magic power. His concentration was reduced, and he even began to feel fear at the end.
Frey’s spirit had overwhelmed Indra.
‘Is it possible to do that to Riki?’
Was it possible?
It was no exaggeration to say that Riki’s spirit was incredibly firm. It would be impossible to subdue the will of such a person.
Indra and Milled had enough holes that he was able to get a grip to pull, but Riki didn’t even have a crack.
He thought about it for a long time, but he still wasn’t able to make any conclusions.
He fought. He thought. He fought. He thought. This was repeated countless times.
Many boring and painful days passed, but he was still unable to get an answer. The hint Riki gave him nestled at the edge of his consciousness, but he was unable to grasp it.
Time went by slowly but surely.
The fight with Riki continued to be a large wall for Frey.
Unlike the previous fights, he didn’t feel like he was moving forward at all. At least a few decades had passed since his first fight with Riki and there had been no improvement in that time.
He still lost unconditionally.
He didn’t even have a way to fight properly, let alone win.
This was not an easy fact to accept.
He wasn’t being conceited, but Frey had been able to overwhelm two Demigods at the same time. In addition to that, the Riki before him was just a residual thought who was not even as strong as the real Riki.
‘If even a weakened Riki is this strong, then Lord…’
Frey shook his head.
He decided not to think negatively. There would not be any change to his determination to destroy Lord someday.
He would never despair again. And his will would never be shaken.
‘…wouldn’t be shaken?’
Frey’s expression changed.
He was weaker than Riki in every way. Attack, defense, speed, situational awareness, and reaction speed.
However, there was one area in which he wouldn’t lose.
The ingrained will that he wouldn’t lose, even to Riki.
“Right, that’s right.”
Everything begins with one’s own will. It didn’t matter whether it was mana, divine power, or divine magic power.
He felt like a fool for taking so long to realise this. They would move according to his will and become stronger.
“So it’s like that.”
He now understood why Riki’s power was so strong. This was because his belief was stronger than anyone else’s.
His spirit, which had been honed to the limit, had taken the shape of a sharp sword.
Frey burst into laughter. His clogged breath could finally flow freely.
He’d finally found a path up the mountain he’d thought was insurmountable. It was impossible to determine the height of this mountain which was so tall that it pierced through the clouds.
But he’d found a way to climb it. He knew where to go.
That was enough for now.
Now, all that was left was to do it.
* * *
He fought desperately.
As long as he still had breath in him, he moved his body.
He didn’t care if his limbs were chopped off, if his intestines spilled out, or if his throat was cut. To Frey, winning or losing wasn’t the problem.
At some point, the thought of making Riki submit and getting his power disappeared. Instead, he only wanted to prove that his belief was stronger.
As a man, he didn’t want to back down. He wanted Riki to recognise him as an opponent.
He constantly let out violent cries. His emotions burned like undying flames.
He even forgot the flow of time.
It wasn’t immersion — it was drive. (TL: korean wordplay here)
He forgot his purpose, he forgot his opponent, and he even forgot himself.
At some point, Riki’s sword broke before Frey’s body cracked.
Riki looked down at his broken sword before he suddenly lowered his hands.
“It’s my defeat.”
How long had he wanted to hear this word?
It was the word he wanted to hear more than anything else in the world, but surprisingly, his emotions didn’t erupt.
Instead, he was rather calm.
“You can still fight.”
That’s what he said.
Only a sword was broken. There were no major injuries on his body.
On the other hand, Frey was severely injured.
But Riki shook his head firmly.
“You don’t understand. This place is different from reality. In this world, the sword is the holder of my belief. So what does it mean if it’s broken?”
“Your will has broken my belief.”
Riki smiled softly.
“So you finally managed to accomplish everything you wanted.”
The moment he heard that, Frey realised.
The fact that his long training had finally come to an end. And the fact that the time to leave this world had come.
“Don’t forget the memories here.”
Riki’s body began to fade. Similar to Indra and Milled, he would also be absorbed by Frey.
Riki looked at Frey and shook his head lightly.
“There’s no need to feel sympathetic.”
“…did I show it?”
“No. But I can feel it.”
Right. He could feel it. Because this was such a world.
“I’m not disappearing, Frey… no, Lukas. I want to be of help to you, even if it’s just a little. Like Indra and Milled.”
Frey muttered, there was so much he wanted to say.
“Without you, I never would have been able to accomplish all of this.”
He meant it.
Riki shook his head.
“Stop with all the awkwardness.”
“Right, I’m not used to stuff like that either.”
Then, after a brief silence, they both began laughing.
This wasn’t a separation. His residual thought might have disappeared from this place, but they would still be connected.
They laughed because they knew that.
Riki was almost completely transparent, and his voice sounded distant.
“After you wake up, you’ll have to hurry.”
He didn’t even have time to ask what he meant.
Frey’s consciousness began to wake.
The mental world began to collapse, and the things he’d experienced there began to flash in front of his eyes like a kaleidoscope.
It was only then that Frey found out how long he’d been in this space.
It had only been a second in reality, but after spending 832 years in his mental world, Frey opened his eyes.
And then he realised what Riki meant when he said he had to hurry.
(TL: a bit of a short one this time. I’ll explain why in the next chapter)
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