Damn Reincarnation - Chapter 126
“Why are you blocking the view?!”
“Show us what’s happening!”
These roars were coming from the crowd. Normally, Melkith would have unleashed a tirade on them for their ingratitude towards their saviors, but currently Melkith couldn’t care less about the squabbling of the crowd.
It wasn’t just Melkith either. All three of the Tower Masters who had stepped forward to protect the spectators had their eyes fixed on the pillar of fire soaring high up into the sky.
The flames slowly dissipated and the raging heat began to fade away. Although the air was supposed to still have the chill of early spring, the crowd started taking off their coats as they felt as if they were in mid-summer.
Eugene stared straight forward, through the shifting and wavering haze, as he caught his breath.
He could see some huge things wriggling within. Eugene smirked and waved his hand. Responding to this, Tempest’s winds blew and swept up all the remaining heat in an upward blast.
This allowed Eugene to confirm what he was seeing. The wriggling objects were giant roots. Though not as large as those of the World Tree that he had observed in the elven territory, these roots belonged to a tree that was still large enough to remind him of it. If one had to pick out the largest difference between the two trees, it was that the end of each branch and root of this tree had something that looked like a flower bud, but, in any case, this tree had quite the bizarre appearance.
The center of the tree trunk split open. Jeneric, who walked out from within the tree, was biting hard on his lower lip as if he wanted to draw blood. Even though he had just been struck by the combination of the Scorching Flameball and Tempest’s tornado-like winds, not a single scorch mark had been left on Jeneric’s body.
Eugene was honestly amazed. So this was Yggdrasil: the Signature Spell of the Green Tower Master, Jeneric Osman. The moment that the firestorm exploded, the Sixth Circle Divine Tree had instantly transformed into Yggdrasil. The resulting explosion was then blocked by an instant casting of a continuous defense spell and layers of roots.
“That’s…” Eugene began speaking without first sending Tempest back to his realm.
As he stared at Jeneric, who was still in the center of Tempest’s tornado, Eugene continued, “No matter how you look at it, that’s not a Sixth Circle spell.”
Jeneric kept silent.
“It seems that you’ve violated the restrictions that you yourself brought up. Oh yes, you aren’t really going to try and make any arguments about the fact that I used Seventh Circle spells and summoned the Spirit King first, are you?” Eugene taunted.
Still, without making any reply, Jeneric just glared at Eugene. Although his chewed-up bottom lip covered up the bitter taste of defeat, Jeneric’s spirit raged as the taste of blood filled his mouth. How could he be humiliated like this?
Jeneric had ended up violating the restriction that he himself had set. At that moment, it would have been difficult to defend against the explosion with his Divine Tree or other Sixth Circle spells. Even though it was just a single Scorching Flameball, with Tempest’s tornado added on top of that, the attack had become absolutely impossible to block with anything within the Sixth Circle.
As such, Jeneric had been left with no choice but to use Yggdrasil. If he didn’t use it? Although he probably wouldn’t have died, he would have still suffered equal disgrace.
‘…No. Instead this might be even more disgraceful…!’ Jeneric lamented.
Eugene met Jeneric’s simmering gaze. Humiliation, rage, and hostility were all mixed into this gaze, blending into a dark, murderous intent.
‘Nah, there’s no way. He’s not unhinged enough to go crazy in a place like this, is he?’ Eugene asked himself.
Just judging by his gaze, it seemed like Jeneric really might come running at him to try and kill him, but Eugene wasn’t too worried about that. After all, weren’t there a lot of spectators? And weren’t the Blue, White, and Black Tower Masters all waiting nearby?
Eugene smirked and looked up at the sky.
A huge door fell from the sky and stayed upright as it landed on the ground. The door was engraved with many intricate carvings. Seeing this, Jeneric’s face contorted.
“It seems that it’s already over,” Lovellian said as he descended shortly afterwards and sat on top of the door. As his eyes blazed red with anger between his shaggy blonde bangs of hair, Lovellian asked challengingly, “Or perhaps you intend to continue?”
“…Red Tower Master,” Jeneric eventually spat out, after he had buried all his murderous thoughts back deep within his heart and twisted the corners of his wooden lips into a stiff smile. “Your disciple… he’s really… impressive.”
Lovellian agreed smugly. “I’m sure it’s not just you, everyone else here is also thinking the same thing.”
Eugene looked at the door Lovellian was sitting on with sparkling eyes. It might be his first time seeing it in person, but seeing a spell with such depth that he couldn’t understand even with Akasha and the intricacies of its formula alerted him as to what this door was.
It was Pantheon, the Signature Spell of the Red Tower Master, Lovellian. The reason why Lovellian had summoned it from the moment that he began descending onto the scene was that Jeneric still had Yggdrasil cast on the field, and not only that, he had also sensed a subtle murderous intent coming from Jeneric’s gaze.
“Green Tower Master,” Lovellian called out as he placed his gloved hands on the door frame. “Your gaze feels a bit overbearing. Is my disciple bothering you somehow?”
“…How could that be,” Jeneric reluctantly denied. “I’m just feeling amazed by this junior’s overflowing talent.”
Lovellian silently stared at Jeneric.
…Tap tap tap….
In this silence, the sound of Lovellian tapping the door frame echoed through the air. While wiping the back of his hand across his lower lip, which was now bleeding, Jeneric took a few steps back.
“…He truly is impressive,” Jeneric repeated with a sigh.
Yggdrasil scattered into dust. Even the churned up ground calmly subsided.
“I could never have imagined that he’d be so exceptional. I heard that he managed to cast the Seventh Circle Scorching Flameball, but to think that he would truly… be able to cast Reverse Rotation as well. And even summoning the Spirit King of the Wind on top of that!” Jeneric deliberately raised his voice as he said this with a chuckle.
Jeneric didn’t want to expose his wounded self-esteem by acting petulant. Even though, if he could have his way, he would much rather soothe his ill temper with a few choice words.
While Jeneric was doing this, Eugene unfurled his Cloak of Darkness and said, “It was all thanks to Mer.”
…Although the cloak had already been opened up for her, Mer failed to emerge on cue. Both the Reverse Rotation and the Scorching Flameball were spells that Eugene shouldn’t have been able to handle yet, but he had managed to cast them thanks to her help, and even if Mer wanted to hide, she couldn’t avoid receiving the praise for this.
“…Hm… now really,” Eugene said with a sigh as he reached into his cloak, grabbing Mer’s hood from where she had been lying down deep inside.
As she was dragged out like this, Mer just lied there limply, her eyes spinning in circles.
Mer groaned feebly. “Uurp…. Uwaaargh….”
“Great work,” Eugene complimented her.
“We’re… we’re done, right? It’s okay for me to rest now, right?” Mer pleaded.
“It’s not like you even need any sleep anyway,” Eugene scoffed.
“Even so, I still neeeed rest…. Ever since I was first created… this is the first time that I’ve ever felt so burned out…,” Mer whined as she tried to wriggle her way back into the cloak.
However, Eugene didn’t let go of Mer and held on to her hood tightly.
“Just wait for a little bit more,” he told her.
Mer childishly drew out the question, “Whyyyy…?”
“There’s something that you still need to hear,” Eugene pointed out.
Jeneric’s shoulders shook at these words. Mer’s eyes, which had been drooping sleepily, started to sparkle as life returned to them. Throwing back her raised hood, Mer stared at Jeneric.
“…Ah… that’s right,” Mer slowly drew out the words as a wide smile spread across her face. “Sir Eugene, you really did win. You defeated the Green Tower Master, Jeneric Osman, in a duel!”
“It’s all thanks to your help,” Eugene generously conceded.
“Hmph, hahmph, hahahmpf. Oh, no, not at all, even without me, I’m sure you would have been able to win just fi…. Hahmph, or maybe not? Yes, that’s right. If I hadn’t been there to help, there’s no way Sir Eugene would have been able to win. Isn’t that right? I’m telling the truth, aren’t I?” Mer turned to look up at Eugene and smiled pridefully as she asked these questions. “You might be strong even without my help, but because I helped you, you became even stronger. Thanks to that, do you know how difficult it was for me? Seriously, it felt like I was going to overheat from the burden of calculating all those formulas.”
“That sounds quite exaggerated,” Eugene pointed out.
“Ummm… alright, fine, it was an exaggeration. No matter how much my processors are burdened, I won’t burn out just from calculating formulas. Because my core structures were created by none other than Lady Sienna after all,” Mer proudly declared.
Eugene nodded in agreement and patted Mer on the head. When he had first started patting her, Mer had warned him that he shouldn’t cross the line with her, but at some point, she had stopped rejecting Eugene’s touch.
“…Could you really have forgotten the bet?” Eugene eventually asked, looking at Jeneric who was standing there woodenly.
Jeneric’s lips were twitching silently, as if lost for words, and his face contorted terribly as he heard Eugene’s question. Had he forgotten the bet? No, of course he remembered it. If he was defeated, then he would have to get on his knees, bow his head, and apologize to Mer very sincerely.
“Could it be that you’re embarrassed by having so many spectators?” Eugene teased.
The high earthen ramparts had already been lowered. While they hadn’t been able to see the decisive moment, the crowd could easily tell who the winner was between Eugene and Jeneric by one’s dismayed gaze and lowered head.
Jeneric felt like everything that had happened was part of a conspiracy to drive him crazy.
“Hm,” Eugene snorted a laugh as he passed by Lovellian and approached Jeneric.
Once he was standing in front of Jeneric, Eugene’s feet lightly tapped on the ground.
A newly created earthen rampart now surrounded Eugene and Jeneric.
“If it’s like this, no one will be able to see us. Since I’m making such a concession, it should be fine now, right?” Eugene pressed Jeneric.
“…Gk… Grrr…!” After staring blankly at his new surroundings, Jeneric clenched his fists and squeezed out a smile as he growled, “You want me… to thank you…! You… do you really… want to push me this far…!”
“Is even this not enough?” Eugene’s smile fell from his face. “Green Tower Master. I’ve won our duel. You, the Green Tower Master, are the one who placed that restriction on yourself, you’re also the one who decided not to place any restrictions on me. Could it be that you really thought there was no way you could lose?”
Jeneric’s silence was as good as a confession.
“If that’s the case, then it seems that the Green Tower Master has really underestimated me,” Eugene said with a frown. “So much so that it’s even insulting. I am a Lionheart, as well as the Red Tower Master, Lovellian Sophis’s disciple, and I’ve even been recognized as the successor to the Wise Sienna.”
With better regret, Jeneric protested, “…If it wasn’t… for the restriction…!”
Eugene snorted and said, “Isn’t that obvious? I’m aware of that as well. If the Green Tower Master had just set the limit at the Seventh Circle instead of the Sixth Circle, I wouldn’t have been able to win as ‘easily’ as I have now.”
“…What?” Jeneric barked, his eyes narrowing as he glared at Eugene. “Easily? You’re saying that you won easily? Against me?”
“If not, does it look like it was a difficult victory for me? Green Tower Master, from the start of our duel to the end, all your movements were made according to my will,” Eugene revealed.
Jeneric was unable to muster up a rebuttal.
Eugene gave some advice, “You should just admit the truth, Green Tower Master. You overestimated your own strength. If you had gone into the duel without placing any restrictions on yourself, would I have been able to win? Haha! If that was the case, then I might as well become the Green Tower Master, no?”
Jeneric was unable to say anything to this. Everything that Eugene had said was the truth, and trying to argue against it would only lead to Jeneric making even more of a fool of himself.
He couldn’t take back his words. Nor could he do anything about the fact that he had become drunk on his own arrogance and overconfidence in his own abilities, thus leading him to be falsely certain of his own victory.
He had looked down on his opponent and ignored what cards Eugene could be keeping hidden. Jeneric had been so sure of his lead in the fight and had been so certain that he was the one in control of his opponent…
…so what honor was there in arguing against that now?
“…You… no, esteemed creation of the Wise Sienna. I called you a mere familiar, looked down on your existence, and my father even dissected you for the purposes of experimentation,” Jeneric confessed.
Honestly speaking, he really didn’t want to say these words. He also didn’t want to bow his head and he definitely didn’t want to bend his knees. As for this apology? He really wanted to ask why he was being forced to do something like this,
However, Jeneric still had to do it. No matter what excuses he might come up with, he couldn’t change the outcome of the duel. After all, wasn’t being beaten by a boy much younger than himself already shameful enough? Instead of arguing against it, it was better to admit defeat and use the restriction as an excuse to alleviate some of the shame from this duel. If there hadn’t been any restrictions, then of course he would have won.
In order to protect his remaining honor, Jeneric just needed to accept the results and keep to the words he had said in haste.
“…I apologize for all of those,” Jeneric concluded his apology.
“Got it,” Mer replied with a smile.
She walked out of Eugene’s cloak fully and stood in front of the kneeling Jeneric.
“I, Mer Merdein, have received the Green Tower Master’s apology,” Mer formally declared, puffing out her chest, placing her hands on her hips, and glaring down at Jeneric.
From here, she had a very good look at the top of Jeneric’s deeply bowed head. Seeing this, she couldn’t help but feel refreshed inside. Mer snorted proudly a few more times before turning and going back to Eugene.
“Sir Eugene, we did it!” Mer cheered.
Eugene nodded and agreed. “That’s right, we did it.”
Eugene opened his cloak slightly, but Mer didn’t duck inside. Instead, she came closer and hung onto one of Eugene’s arms with a giggle. It might be because her body had been relieved of all its tension, but she found it difficult to walk and was dragging her feet.
In the end, Eugene picked Mer up and sat her on his shoulder. Mer let out a startled sound, but immediately corrected her posture to sit securely on Eugene’s shoulder.
“This is more uncomfortable than staying inside the cloak,” Mer commented.
“Of course it would be uncomfortable,” Eugene acknowledged.
“It seems that I’ll need to prepare a cushion for times like these. Or else, hmmm, Sir Eugene, this cloak can change its appearance, right? This prickly fur, can’t you swap it for a fluffy cushion instead?” Mer requested.
Eugene admitted, “I can change it, but I don’t want to. Why should I? What kind of madman goes around wearing a cushion on the shoulder of his cloak?”
“Can’t you even do that much when I’m so tired?” Mer pouted.
“Yep, I really can’t. If it’s uncomfortable and you can’t stand it, just go back inside of the cloak,” Eugene told her.
“You’re the one who put me up here, Sir Eugene!”
“Because that was easier than carrying you around in my arms.”
Eugene persisted in refusing to transform his cloak’s appearance, leading Mer to pout her lips in disappointment.
The earthen rampart that had been recently raised was lowered. At the same time, Jeneric stood up and neatly brushed the dust off of his knees. However, he couldn’t completely hide his twisted expression. After glaring at Eugene, who was standing with his back to Jeneric, the latter cast Blink and left the square as soon as the barrier disappeared.
“Why did you hide it?” Melkith fussed as she approached. “After all, I also wanted to see that bastard, the Green Tower Master, get down on his knees and cry like a baby!”
“He did get down on his knees, but he didn’t cry,” Eugene informed her.
“That’s why there’s a problem with your method. It’s said that an apology is only complete when there are tears as well. If I had been there with you, I’d have made both tears and snot run down the face of the Green Tower Master, that shameless old man,” Melkith said as she let out deep sighs of sincere regret.
Lovellian was watching Eugene from the side.
It was the first time Eugene had seen Lovellian with such an expression on his face, and the eyes with which he was looking at Eugene were also different from normal. The Patheon that Lovellian had summoned had yet to disappear and was still standing tall behind Lovellian’s back.
“…Um… that’s….” Eugene tried to smile brightly as he tilted his head to the side and asked, “Did I make you mad?”
“Yes,” Lovellian answered without any hesitation. “I am mad. Just what in the world did you think you were doing? Eugene, do you know where I went today and why I went there?”
Eugene hesitated. “…Uuum… oh yes. You’ve just been to Abram, right?”
“That’s right. I’ve just returned from Abram. Eugene, I hate going to Abram. I truly detest it. Unless they’re a member of the Court Wizards, no wizard would enjoy going to Abram. Because going there leaves a wizard feeling powerless,” Lovellian admitted as he waved his hand with a deep sigh.
At this gesture, the door of Pantheon that had been standing there imposingly vanished into mist.
Lovellian explained, “With the hearing over and done with, Aroth’s royal family has acknowledged that Akasha is under your ownership, Eugene. However, the king of Aroth wasn’t present at the hearing, so someone needed to report to him in detail and guarantee both your worth and your continued good relations with Aroth.”
That was why Lovellian had been called. He was the master of the Red Tower, an institution of Aroth, and an Archwizard who had held a position of authority in Aroth for dozens of years.
“The conversation with His Majesty was quite enjoyable. His Majesty also accepted the situation. However, having such a long conversation in Abram left me feeling very uncomfortable. Even so, for the sake of my disciple, I did my best to endure it,” Lovellian guilted Eugene.
Eugene stammered. “Um… that’s… I’m sor—”
“Don’t apologize,” Lovellian said without allowing Eugene to finish what he was saying.
“…But you said that you were angry?” Eugene meekly pointed out.
“I am angry! I am angry at you, Eugene, because you were reckless enough to accept such a duel! Since the Green Tower Master was the one to challenge you to duel, he wouldn’t have been able to refuse even if you asked to postpone it. You should have made sure to discuss with me first about whether the conditions of the duel were ‘fair’ before you agreed to a duel with the Green Tower Master!” Lovellian chastised.
“Hey now, Red Tower Master,” Melkith cut in. “I was there as well. I think that the conditions were pretty fair—”
Lovellian demanded, “Please be quiet, White Tower Master. You aren’t Eugene’s master.”
Her intervention proving useless, Melkith grumbled and shook her head.
“…Um… so you’re saying that you’re angry because I acted on my own?” Eugene confirmed.
“It’s because you weren’t being careful enough,” Lovellian corrected.
Eugene argued, “However, I won.”
“That’s why I said that you don’t need to apologize. Even if you were too reckless in getting into such a duel, Eugene… you won your duel with Jeneric Osman, Archwizard and Green Tower Master,” Lovellian said proudly, his mood no longer angry. “You were amazing.”
“It’s all thanks to me,” Mer, who was still sitting on Eugene’s shoulder, haughtily cut in.
“Yes,” Lovellian agreed. “Lady Mer was also truly impressive.”
“…Um… that’s, if I hadn’t made sure to block it off properly, most of the crowd would have been burned to death,” Melkith, who had been listening silently, thrust herself back into the conversation.
Lovellian turned to look at Melkith with a hesitant expression, before saying, “How… amazing?”
“Ahem… I was just doing what I should,” Melkith replied with some embarrassment and tried to avoid his gaze.
1. For those who have forgotten, Abram is the royal palace of Aroth. Sienna installed a special seal over the island the palace is built on, it prevents everyone except for those permitted by the Royal Family from using their magic. ☜