‘I can see.’
What Igneel and Etaqua had illuminated was the inside of my mind, allowing me to sense my ‘self’ more clearly. Thanks to that…I could unlock the door into a new world.
The inner world. Upon reaching the ultimate level in what mages commonly practiced, meditation and inner visualization, you would then become able to materialize the inner world, which was considered to be within the realm of mystery
There were extremely few capable of materializing the inner world even among magicians, and that included my past self as well. It was an imaginary and false world, but it held a real influence.
Originally it should have been impossible for me, because while the materialization of an inner world was similar to a lucid dream, it demanded an even greater amount of concentration and the mobilization of magic power.
Since the time I had returned to the past, I hadn’t been able to concentrate easily. There were too many matters to consider and I had to decide on a course for the future.
‘…I can do this.’
The light from Igneel and Etaqua illuminated my mind. Thanks to them, I could replicate and display the inside of the demon lord’s body without missing a detail in the inner world. In the midst of it, they also connected with my mind and appeared nearby.
Igneel stared at me absentmindedly as usual, while Etaqua appeared full of curiosity as he tried moving his body but to no avail. It was only natural that he couldn’t move. There was nothing that could move within this space without my permission.
I was surprised myself, however. I never expected that they could even enter ‘my space’ — or to be specific, the domain of my mind!
‘At this rate there’ll be no end to the surprises.’
It was about time I got used to it. These two were an unlimited source of unpredictability. It was apparent that my common sense wasn’t nearly enough to fathom the two.
I restricted the movements of Igneel and Etaqua, and the two tilted their heads in confusion as they observed my actions.
‘This is the interior of a demon lord’s body.’
I zoomed in on it.
I could now see everything within the body; the flow of blood, movement of organs, even the most minute of vibrations. I was largely no different from a human’s body. I was quite surprised on that point. As such, I first studied the influences magic power had on the body.
‘The fine movements of magic power is dynamic in action.’
It was a perfect circulation. The mana flowing between the middle energy center and upper energy center possessed a glue-like consistency, and it moved in a helical form so as it retain its bonds. I almost overlooked it because it was so small. The countless streams of magic power in helical forms were intertwined tens, hundreds of thousands of times. At first glance they appeared to be a single stream, but that wasn’t it.
My doubts only further increased. So many streams of magic power intertwined should have resulted in a loss of control. Were they that well organized?
‘Reverse tracing of magic power.’
There were hints of magic power remaining in the demon lord’s lower energy center. This clearly proved that magic power had once passed through the lower energy center as well. The lower energy center must have closed as the body developed and began to use only the middle and upper energy centers.
I was thrilled! I could only discover this point with difficulty after entering the inner world. I may even find out the method to this change if I were to follow the remnants of magic power.
Time continued to flow, but I paid no heed to it. Igneel and Etaqua yawned. While they were licking each other to stave off the tedium, I was able to discover another trace.
‘So flowing upwards wasn’t the answer!’
Lower, middle, upper. Everyone been mistaken all this time. We had all assumed that a passageway for the energy could have been drilled through; by forcibly driving magic power from the lower belly toward the heart, and from the heart toward the brain.
We were wrong. The passageway had always been open. Or to be correct…that passageway was made to close naturally as we aged.
‘So this means the middle and upper energy center can only be opened by awakening at a very young age?’
But that wasn’t possible. The lifespan of a baby would become extremely short if it were to be awakened. The age at which magic power could be handled was acknowledged to be 15 at the minimum. Awaken before that, and the body wouldn’t be able to handle the stress, and would rapidly age.
In the end, my discovery lead to another question; how this closed ‘door’ should be opened.
It was then.
Igneel and Etaqua began to move. To think that I couldn’t even control them with my words, was this proof of how closely our souls were intertwined?
They flapped their small wings and the two simultaneously shone a beam of light. The golden and white light shining from their wings were pointing to a single spot within the demon lord’s body.
‘That’s a lethal point…‘
The crown of the head, known as the Hundred Convergences point. It was a vital part; A strong impact would send the brain shaking and could be fatal.
I carefully examined that place, and before long my pupils began to tremble uncontrollably.
It was a small enlightenment. I vaguely realized why Igneel and Etaqua illuminated that spot for me.
‘The beginning. So this was where it began!’
It didn’t rise from below, but descended from above. In the body of the demon lord, unlike a human’s body, that part alone had a very small opening. If this part could be drilled through…the middle and upper energy centers would naturally open, and the redundant lower energy center should slowly close off. Simply put, the lower energy center is a temporary storage place for magic power.
A slight shiver ran down my spine. If I hadn’t entered the inner word, and didn’t have the assistance of Igneel and Etaqua, I never would have noticed that barely visible tiny hole.
‘The body of a demon race would go through that process as naturally as breathing. Humans were different, so merely drilling a hole wouldn’t suffice. We would have to forcibly intertwine and connect the streams of magic power.’
Numerous human experimentations had been carried out in the past. If drilling a small hole in the Hundred Convergence point was everything, then the method to opening the middle and upper energy centers would already have been widespread. But only by intertwining and linking the streams of magic power, thereby establishing a system of circulation, would it function properly.
I was observing it in real-time. Feeling it.
That’s why I could be certain.
‘I can do it.’
Finally, I found the way to overcome my limits.
I exited the inner world and returned to reality. At the same time, small tears ran down either side of my cheeks. But I wasn’t feeling anger, nor sadness.
Happiness. They were tears of happiness.
In the past, there were none among humanity who had managed to achieve a level of magic power amounting to 100 with pure stats. The person known to have the highest magic power back then was Grand Wizard ‘Ryosuke Kanou’ who only had 97.
Going past 95, the difference between every 1 stat grew ever more contrasting. Equipments or titles that increased magic power were especially scarce, which was why they were all the more sought after.
However…a method to breakthrough had appeared.
‘This time, I’ll be sure to breathe the air at the pinnacle.’
This time for sure…I’ll reach 100, and beyond. And if the knowledge of this method could be made public, then the rate of development for humanity would become so much faster, because the circulation of magic power was in deep relation to the physical body after all.
There would be no need to experience a time tainted with nothing but despair like in the past. It was time to unfold the infinite potential of humans. It was time to strike back.
Igneel and Etaqua, having felt my emotions, licked away my tears.
“Thank you. Thank you…so much.”
I raised both hands, and gently stroked the backs of Igneel and Etaqua.
I learned all there was to learn. It was now truly time to go back. I couldn’t just leave my original body hanging after all.
“Will you truly be returning to slumber?”
Laila made a face full of worry. I had already told her the same thing several times now, but she appeared reluctant to believe it now that the moment had come.
“I have yet to completely awaken. But I shall soon return again.”
I had slept for a 100 years. Several more days of sleep wouldn’t change a thing.
Of course…I had to quickly find Etaqua to prepare against possible emergencies. Igneel and Etaqua were in resonance, and they should be able to tell immediately if a problem were to occur.
I had actually tried experimenting by separating them across a long distance, but Igneel and Etaqua had remained aware of each other as if they were right beside each other. They immediately noticed when a problem occurred nearby, or to each other.
“Then sending Etaqua to Earth is…”
“Laying the groundwork. The pillars must be firm in order to build a larger castle. We can never win by taking the same road as the other demon lords.”
Laying the groundwork indeed. To become the foundation for my growth.
Laila gazed at Etaqua. Because she personally named him, Laila treated Etaqua with more affection than Igneel. It could be clearly seen from her expression, how she would hold him back if she could.
But it was now time to part, to take the road leading to victory!
‘I should make sure to take along the Jewel of Space.’
It didn’t matter in other places, but I couldn’t let Etaqua or the shadow kaim roam as they liked on Earth. If only for convenience’s sake, I had to place them in the Jewel of Space to use them.
Etaqua was much too energetic, so I let the shadow kaim hold the Jewel of Space. Several potions were contained in the Jewel.
And then I bought a Dark Gate using 10,000 points from the points I had earned until now. The moment I did, several messages of instructions appeared along with a space which resembled a black hole.
[The dimensional rift is below 50% at 8.35%. It is impossible to create a ‘Gate’ directly connecting the planet ‘Earth’ and the ‘abyss’.]
[Diverting one point from the destination. The transit point of the Dark Gate has been set to ‘Rakshasa Mountain Mid-slope(Lv2~???).]
Images regarding the Gates that appeared in both Rakshasa Mountain Mid-slope and Earth appeared within the black hole.
I frowned upon seeing those places. I knew of Rakshasa Mountain, and I also found familiar the location on Earth where the Gate appeared.
Rakshasa Mountain. That’s where I obtained the ‘Heartless Soul Stealer Blade’. There I met an old man on the verge of death who introduced himself as Rakshasa, who gave me the sword manual of the Heartless Soul Stealer Blade. I remember him appearing extremely desperate. He was most likely…similar to humans, but not human.
On the other hand, I recognized the location where the Gate appeared on Earth as well.
‘Rakshasa and Daejeon, is it.’
It was supposedly random, but perhaps the demon lords were each assigned areas of their own? It seemed that Uriel Diablo was connected to Korea. A terrible coincidence, should I say.
A Gate had appeared in Daejeon as well. I expected it to possess an animal, but it wasn’t so. A directly connecting Gate had appeared in a corner of Daejeon. Apparently a Gate that was created by a demon lord didn’t appear in a form of possession. Another thing to be relieved about was that Rakshasa Mountain Mid-slope wasn’t a particularly dangerous place. There, Etaqua would be able to hold out just fine, and the shadow kaim would make things much easier if it were to help.
‘Let’s meet again.’
Etaqua could feel my emotions. As I hinted ,with my emotions, that we would be able to meet before long, Etaqua then glanced at me for a moment, and then entered the black space together with the shadow kaim.
Afterwards, I looked at Laila.
“I shall return.”
“I have faith.”
Laila replied with emphasis on every uttered word. Her gaze was intense to the point of discomfort, but it held an equal amount of trust.
Following that I once again seated myself on the castle throne.
Igneel sat on top of my shoulder as if to guard me. They way he snorted, as if roaring, made quite the impression. I had thought him to be an introverted fellow, unlike Etaqua, but a dragon was a dragon, was it?
I chuckled as I closed my eyes, and at the same time my mind began to greatly shake as if exposed to a storm.
[‘Transfer’ time has expired.]
[‘Regression’ has begun.]