Chapter 1 – The Eternal God Drug
Chapter 1, The Eternal God Drug
“Ahh, no, this isn’t it. How’d it get to this… I know I have to designate a time limit to keep the transparency property from disappearing, but why’d it become translucent instead when I added a time limit formula into the Spell Circle? Did I put it in the wrong position? Wait, no, if I did, the Circle will lose balance, in which case… should I expand the property’s parent Spell Circle to preserve the balance? Wait, no, that’ll make is disproportionate with the formula characters, so it’s meaningless. Hmm… I just don’t get it…”
“Master, it’s time you went outside for a change, I say!”
“What, Pochi, haven’t we been in this dungeon for only 80 years? Isn’t it too fast to give up?”
Pochi, the dog of Siberian Husky breed, had become my Familiar 800 years ago. Since then, she has always kept me company as a friend and a caretaker of sorts. Lately, she’s been scolding me more and more, day in and day out.
“Your estimate is way off, sir! And the last time you went out, it was for just 6 hours! Do you even remember anything from before that!?”
“Hmm… Oh yeah, I was doing research to engrave see-through magic onto glasses!”
“I wasn’t asking about your research topic, but the amount of time you’ve spent on it, sir! It’s been 120 years! We’ve cut ourselves off from the outside world for 120 years, you hear me!? Do you want to become a Hermit or something!?”
“Hey, but we did go out for 6 hours to… er, what’d we do, again?”
Pochi, utterly appalled, heaved a sigh.
Looks like she’s almost at her limit. What an easily stressed little thing.
“…We went to buy a pair of glasses, sir.”
“Ahh, right, that’s it, that’s it. I’m sure the glasses are around here somewhere… here it is! Oh, heh heh heh, it’s all cracked…”
“This is why you shouldn’t immediately move on to a new project once you’re done with one… Listen, Master… No, I’ll say this as a friend, Asley; you would be better off leading a more human-like lifestyle.”
“Hey, c’mon, you’re my Familiar, aren’t you?”
“I am, yes, but you are a human regardless, Master!”
Pochi’s tone turned more adamant with each word she let loose. I’m sure she’s genuinely worried for me.
It’s been 5,000 years… By pure chance, my 17-year-old self had successfully distilled the God Drug, Drop of Eternity. I had drunk it, and had attained a body of perennial youth. As a practitioner with no talent as a Mage nor an Alchemist, it had been my first and only masterpiece.
Having obtained the unique blessing of unlimited time, I had invested the majority of it so far into the studying of Magic.
Although I had gotten the simple magic concepts down by then, unfortunately, my learning capabilities had been greatly unchanged; it had also required me months to learn new things from that point on. Of course, that meant I had enriched my abilities at a consistent turtle’s pace, and through methods of bygone days, no less. In theory, my rate of progression should have been faster on a new step than the last.
But each time I was tasked with learning something completely new, my talents carried me full speed in the direction opposite to what should have been.
Once I improved myself through persistent practice and research, I happened upon Pochi as a little pup, and her mother, under attack from a monster.
Using the Ice Launcher, a spell I had spent 8 months to learn, I had successfully driven off the monster, but unfortunately, I had not been able to save Pochi’s mother. I’ve never forgotten the image of Pochi crying before her mother’s grave.
From then on, Pochi and I had lived a long, fun life. He was clever, friendly, and quickly responded to simple instructions.
But I had always known that the time would come for us to part ways. Yes, I would live on for eternity, but Pochi’s time would have ended in one-fifth of the time I had taken to create the See-through Glasses.
I told Pochi about the Drop of Eternity, which I had saved half of, and asked if he would drink it. Pochi being the clever little thing, he hesitated to drink it, and went on to ponder it over at length.
Well, she ended up getting it without realizing, though.
Me being such an idiot, I had put the Drop of Eternity on a desk full of research materials, and at one point, it ended up spilling onto Pochi’s feed tray.
And me being such an idiot, 50 years had passed since then before I realized what had happened.
While looking at Pochi, who had lived long past her life span by then, I also finally caught sight of the bottle, fallen over and emptied on the table. Coming to a conclusion, I had explained it to Pochi as such, and her reaction was… Honestly, it was quite hilarious.
It was not long thereafter that I had made Pochi my Familiar.
“So, you know… You should go outside more, yeah?”
“But do we even have somewhere to go to…?”
“Master, have you forgotten why you had immersed yourself in research in the first place? Didn’t you say that you wanted to attain great power so that you could do good for the world?”
“Ahh, I did say that to get back at the guys that made fun of me, but that was 500 years ago, so I’ve changed my direction when I realized that there’s no way they’re still alive, I guess.”
“Oh, for the love of… You abandon things too easily, Master! You haven’t even used that See-through Glasses for any peeping yet! …Not that I’m encouraging you to!”
Now that she mentioned it…
It was indeed a bad habit of mine, creating one thing, them immediately moving on to the next as another desire surfaced.
And I haven’t been out to see the world lately, so now might be as good a time as any.
“But if I remember right, our levels were on the low side…”
“What are you saying? Putting your level aside, Master, mine has already reached 100.”
“What in blazes!? When’d you even–!?”
“Unlike you, Master, I’ve been exercising outside… Wait, I’ve always been the only one to go get food, too!”
“Ngh… oh, yeah, let’s see… oh, here it is. By-product of the See-through Glasses project, the Appraisal Glasses!”
If I put this on and look at Pochi… Let’s see here…?
TITLES: The Fool’s Familiar, Advanced Familiar, The Powerful, Great Wolf
Breath Attack (Zenith)
What’s up that that ‘Fool’ in the title? Just because I’m stupid… is that it?
Wait, I agreed to it just now, didn’t I…
Ah, right, apply reflection magic to the glasses, and… there.
TITLES: The Fool, The Polarizing, Hermit Candidate, Mage, Alchemist, Staff Wielder
Attack Magic (Skilled)
Support Magic (Intermediate)
Recovery Magic (Intermediate)
Now that’s quite the advantage in MP pool.
Is this because all I’ve been taking in is more and more knowledge? There’s the possibility of it growing even higher with the rising of my level, too.
And it was generally better to have more titles, sure, but some of them seemed to have negative effects… I mean, it was so self-explanatory. The Fool; that one probably had a detrimental effect on everything else. I’ll have to be persistent in getting it removed.
The Polarizing; this one was the result of me doing nothing but research, I suppose.
And Hermit Candidate; was this because it had been brought up just now? I never signed up for that position!
Well, those are pretty much the things I have to deal with some time soon, I guess.
“All right, that’s it! We’re moving out tomorrow! Pochi, gather up all the stuff!”
“Yes, sir! Leave it to me!”
“…So, what should we do, sir?”
“O forgot how bright the sunlight was… Now, we shall set forth on an adventure that will go down in legends for decades to come!”
“I see, I see… So, what should we do?”
“For journeys and adventures, a goal is necessary. Pochi, do you have anything in mind?”
“Goals… sir? Well, since I’ve become a Familiar and all, I may as well see if I can find and participate in the gathering called the Familiar Chalice.”
I’ve heard of it before, but how did Pochi even know about it?
There might have been something about it in one of my books. Perhaps that was where she had caught wind of it from.
“Do you have anything in mind, Master?”
“Let’s see… For adventurers, there has to be dungeon-crawling! I want to try conquering the most mysterious dungeon ever, The Devil King’s Chestpocket! There must be many rare books and artifacts in there… Oh, yeah, there’s one more–“
“And that would be… what, sir?”
“I wouldn’t say I want to become a Philosopher, but… I want to get rid of the title The Fool, at least.”
Pochi’s mouth was agape in astonishment.
No, please, don’t look at me like that…
“I hope you’re not fooling around, sir! The title The Fool is detrimental to all of your powers! Wait, wouldn’t that mean I also have the title The Fool’s Familiar!?”
“Oh, yeah, you did have it when I looked.”
“Oh, no wonder… So this was why my body never felt any lighter when I leveled up…”
“Now, don’t worry about it too much. I’m sure you’re still as powerful as veteran-class adventurers, yeah?”
“What worries me is that I may not be able to get stronger than that level, sir. Well, I won’t be dwelling on it. So, where shall we go, sir? Our current location is in the dense forest region, with the desert to the north, the sea to the south, the grasslands to the east, and the mountains to the west.”
I don’t like sand. It’s coarse, rough, irritating, and just… it’s really not a place one would willingly go to. The mountains are out, too, for a similar line of reasoning.
So that leaves us with either the sea or the grasslands. In which case…
“Pochi, what do you want to eat? Meat or fish?”
“You do remember that I’m a wolf, yes? My choice will always be meat, of course.”
“All right, to the meat — I mean, grasslands, then! Roll out!”
~~The East, Grasslands Region~~
“Well, well, what a big catch… We sure got a lot, eh, Pochi?”
“All because you walked ahead recklessly, sir! Now we have 7 Cyclopes and 3 Killer Mantes on us! What do you plan to do now!?”
“Oh, calm down; think of it as an opportunity to work up an exquisite combination for us! Commence Operation R.I.P. Pochi!”
“NAY! Aha, I have a better idea! Let us commence Operation Sacrificial Asley instead!”
What a dreadful thing to come up with!
“NAY, NAY! Well, for now, just buy me some time!”
“Oh, you just had to have me do it, don’t you!”
Without a moment’s caution, Pochi plunged herself into the midst of the Cyclops.
I loaded my staff with Arcane Energy and started drawing a Spell Circle in the air. Then I drew some characters, shining bright like sunlight, rose them up, and slammed them down on the Spell Circle. With the characters added to the pentagram as the Magic Formula, the magic spell was successfully invoked.
“All right, Pochi, get back! Meteor Lance, coming right up!”
Spears impaled the monsters with the intensity of scorching meteors, with the parts torn off dissolving away almost immediately.
Then the chime informing me of a level up rang within my brain. As always, it feels like it just keeps echoing in my head…
“Ouch! That one hurt! Could you not have chosen some lighter magic spell!?”
“Hey, don’t blame me! I don’t know how to handle magic on a case-by-case basis! And you’ve been scolding me way too much for a while now, you know!”
“That wasn’t scolding! I’m always thinking in your best interests, Master!”
“Oh, I see, thank you very much!”
“Oh, you are very welcome!”
This Pochi is becoming more and more like a sister-in-law, but in all seriousness, it looks like she really is looking out for me.
This made me think of my mother and father, whom I had long forgotten the faces of.
Having lost both of them at the age of 10, I had since been under the care of my uncle, whom I had left soon after I had become of age at 15. He had done the bare minimum in raising me, so I had not much of a gratitude left for him.
“Really though, the Devil King’s Chestpocket, the Familiar Chalice… where are they even supposed to be?”
“…Now, are you proposing that we go straight to the destination?”
“What, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Maybe not the Devil King’s Chestpocket, but at your level, you should be fine going to the Familiar Chalice, right?”
“Please, do not say such foolish things, sir. Obviously, those who reached level 100 are dime and dozen. It is not something to be taken without learning and mastering numerous tactics, engraving them into your body, so as to attain strength not tied to levels and numbers.”
“How’d you even know all this stuff, anyway?”
“All that was written in the books I’ve found in your archives, Master. Though I feel the ones in question were particularly old.”
I knew it. That’s what it was. I’ve noticed that a few of my books reeked of Pochi’s drool.
So she’s has been flipping the pages after licking her paws. What does she think she is, an old man?
“So what are we going to do, then?”
“I propose that we decide on a location to use as a base, and train ourselves while gathering information.”
“Then wouldn’t it be better to go back to that dungeon…”
“Now, of course you’re saying that… That won’t do at all, sir. Stay there again, and I feel your humanity might slip.”
“So, is there any way for us to find a human settlement, Pochi-doggo?”
In accordance with my words, Pochi, seeing no other choice, started sniffing in the smells of the vicinity.
For a dog, she sure is expressive… Well, more like she’s become so good at it since she’d become a Familiar.
After all, she’d never been like this before then.
“Sniffsniff… Hmm, I smell water from that direction, sir.”
“Where there is water, there is civilization, eh. That’s the only lead we have, so for now, let’s go check it out.”