“Now that I look at it, it looks similar.”
Its material and size were quite similar. Even the leather used to make the binding was almost identical to Bertelgia’s.
“How about we first pull the book? It looks like it acts as the key to moving the Colossus.”
Sungchul extended his hand toward the book veiled in a blue light, but as his hand was about to touch its surface, an invisible barrier appeared to stop his approach and at the same time glowing words appeared before him.
[Those without authority may not remove the Key of Knowledge.]
[List of those with authority is as follows:]
[Seven Heroes, and the Creationist Eckheart]
As expected, Sungchul was not on the list. He attempted to pull the book out with his usual method, brute strength, but when he put in a bit more effort, the immaterial seal broke apart. A different set of words appeared before Sungchul’s eyes.
[A word of warning. Pulling the Key of Knowledge without authority will cause the Colossus to go on a violent rampage.]
Sungchul promptly clenched his fists after seeing those words.
‘This is a problem.’
Fortunately, the string of text wasn’t quite over yet. Sungchul continued to read the new text carefully.
[If you are a person of future generations and only if there is a reason for the Colossus to stop, answer the following question.]
[Are you an Alchemist?]
Sungchul nodded, and when he did, the lamps of luminous ore emerged from the many hidden gaps and illuminated the control room which had been shrouded in darkness. At the same time, ancient pieces which had been scattered all over the room moved on their own accord to form one large table.
The moment those words appeared before him, a box made of ice descended from the ceiling and was laid on the table. The ice disappeared leaving behind some misty gas instead of water, and in its place, there remained various reagents and different types of minerals, plants, and insects contained in glass bottles.
[Eckheart’s Third and Final Problem.*]
[There will be an Alchemic Item craftable from the Alchemic materials below. Make said item and place it upon the altar, then the Colossus will cease its movement.]
[Additionally, it matters not which tools you use.]
It was a trial befitting of Eckheart. Sungchul looked toward the table full of Alchemic reagents. There were much that was familiar to him, but there were also other ores, samples, and specimens that were new to him. What was Eckheart asking to be made from all this? This question weighed on Sungchul’s mind. There were more than sixty types of materials on the table, and they were all ingredients with strong individual characteristics that made it difficult to intuitively guess how they interacted with each other.
‘This is a nearly impossible order.’
It would be difficult to rely on luck, and there were only one of each ingredient in each bottle. This was a test that would not even permit failure while the Colossus continued to move at this very moment. There was an Observation Orb at the front of the cockpit that would allow one to see the outside through the golem’s eyes. The Colossus was going up the river stream to destroy Panchuria at the moment.
‘This is outside my abilities.’
He was the type to avoid lingering on the impossible. He looked directly at Bertelgia.
Bertelgia was already on the table looking over the materials. As she wasn’t flapping about and simply looking over them like an inanimate object, she must have been locked deep in thought. Sungchul believed in her and waited for her response.
One minute, another minute, and another…
Bertelgia opened her mouth breaking her silence. Sungchul looked toward her expectantly.
“I fell asleep.”
“Just kidding! It’s a joke. Don’t look at me with such a scary expression. I am seriously trying to figure it out!”
She fell into thought again. However, it looked like the materials laid on the table were more difficult to solve than expected, even for her.
“Hm. Wait a minute. There are a few useless ones mixed in here.”
Bertelgia moved and pushed aside the third reagent on the first row.
“Aren’t you supposed to use it all?” Sungchul asked quizzically.
“I thought that at first too, but now that I look at it, I don’t think that’s the case.”
Bertelgia grabbed onto another ingredient three spaces over and bit it to pull that aside as well.
“Don’t just sit there and gawk. Help me out!”
Sungchul did as she asked and pulled out every third ingredient to the side, and once all the organization was complete, she flapped around above the table to look down on all of the materials left.
There was no progress at first, but by the time it would have taken to drink a single cup of tea…
Sungchul looked over at her again with less expectations than before.
“I think I see the gist of it!”
She spoke with excitement laced in her voice.
“What do you see?”
When Sungchul asked, her body suddenly began to radiate some rosy light. It was an unusually auspicious light.
“Look. Look! The seal of a page not within the index is being undone!”
Her pages began to slowly open up within this radiant light until a single page revealed itself before Sungchul. It was just another recipe page like any other he had seen, but it wasn’t the average recipe.
Ingredient: Feather of a Thousand Year Bird, Sap of the Golden Tree, Powder of a Comet, nearly perfect Gold, Cast Skin of a Burrowing Insect …
Sungchul doubted his own eyes.
‘A level 7 Alchemic Item?’
He had never made a 6th level Alchemic Item, but to suddenly make a 7th level Alchemic Item…
“Just what is this?” Sungchul stared at the recipe while speaking.
“As you can see, it’s a 7th level Alchemic Item. It’s also non-attributed. I was surprised that I had such a thing inside me as well.
“It wasn’t an indexed page?”
“That’s right. It must have been sealed for certain reasons. For a human, it would be similar to that feeling, you know, when there is something on the tip of your tongue but you somehow can’t quite grasp it.”
Sungchul stroked his chin while looking at the huge array of ingredients. It was difficult to grasp where to even begin.
“First off, we shouldn’t shrink away and instead, start making it together.”
Bertelgia spoke encouragingly before flying above the table. She grabbed a few of the materials with her pages and arranged them before Sungchul.
“Now that we have the recipe, there’s nothing to fear, right?”
“That could be so.”
Sungchul grabbed the materials she presented and began to delicately and carefully prepare them as he always did. While he prepared the ingredients, Sungchul discovered that the materials had already been passed through the hands of an impressive Alchemist.
‘This… They have already been prepared to perfection.’
They appeared to be strewn about without thought, but each of the ingredients were preserved to display their natural efficacy perfectly by the hands of some master. Sungchul looked through each of the ingredients and could not stop marveling at each of them. He had never seen Eckheart in person, but he would not have withheld his praise toward this great Alchemist had Eckheart been standing before him.
“Bertelgia, it looks like there is no need to prepare the materials,” said Sungchul.
“Hm? Is that right? Should we start making it then?”
Sungchul pulled out Eckheart’s Portable Cauldron and looked around the table to find a spot to place his alchemic cauldron on. Surprisingly, the spot he found appeared to fit Eckheart’s cauldron perfectly. Sungchul felt a strange pleasure from this discovery as he began his alchemy with the materials provided.
The perfectly prepared best possible ingredients were readily turned into the highest quality alchemical items at Sungchul’s mere touch. And the Alchemical Items that he had crafted to be used as components were of S+ quality; a level Sungchul had never attained before. Sungchul could sense Eckheart’s kind consideration throughout the process.
‘This trial is designed to be passable as long as one knows the recipe.’
The materials were prepared in a way that even the most inexperienced beginner could synthesize. The arrangement of the carefully scrutinized and stable assortment were meant to minimize the chance of failure. Sungchul realized the amount of effort and care that went into preparing the ingredients for this trial each time he made another alchemic item.
In this way, Sungchul finished synthesizing every item and was left with the final step of synthesizing the Mage’s Stone.
“Good good. Let’s continue like this all the way!”
Sungchul peered over at Bertelgia who was suddenly cheering him on from the side. A single thought popped into his mind.
‘Could it be that this test could only be solved with the prerequisite that this brat was here?’
There was no way for even the most experienced of Alchemists to be able to resolve this test with the oppressive condition of being able to use the vast array of ingredients with only one attempt after a single glance.
‘If that’s so…’
Sungchul began to faintly see his effort taking shape, and he started to synthesize the final form of the Alchemic Items: the Mage’s Stone. As each of the final ingredients were prepared and placed into the Cauldron, the faint light within the Cauldron grew brighter as Sungchul continued to diligently mix the items.
He could feel quite a bit of mana leave his body with each swirl as expected of the mana consumption of a level 7 Alchemic Item. The Sungchul of the past might have had to take time to coordinate his synthesizing and his rest breaks, but the current Sungchul had reached a stunning 600 Magic Power which was an impressive level even for a Mage’s standards.
Sungchul continued to stir the cauldron without rest and waited for the process to finish. How much time had passed? The faint light within the cauldron grew blindingly bright as it poured out of the cauldron like a fountain. His mana was about to hit its rock bottom. From the radiance, Sungchul could feel his heart beating in a way it hadn’t before as he waited for the texts that he knew would appear soon. The results soon arrived.
A fairly clear shape of a smile appeared on Sungchul’s lips.
“Uwa! We did it! We really did it!”
Bertelgia flew about excitedly while a single stone floated out of the cauldron with a clear outline. It was about the size of a child’s head. The surface was covered with strange shapes and indecipherable words that glowed with the blue light. Sungchul took the stone in his hands.
< Mage’s Stone >
Effect: Collect the other 5 stones. Once you do, the Path of Truth will open before you.
Sungchul then brought the stone to the altar. When the Mage’s Stone was placed, the luminescent ores within the control room flicked in unison. Every slight rumbling within the room stopped as a thick stillness replaced it. The Colossus that had been destroying Panchuria finally ceased its rampage. Sentences popped up for Sungchul who had been silent.
[Impressive. You have completed the Mage’s Stone.]
[You have my blessings, if my daughter is with you, but admirations and curses, if she is not.]
The book at the center of the control room lost its light. Bertelgia was the first one to discover this and said as such.
“That book over there. I think it lost its seal?”
Bertelgia rammed the book even before Sungchul’s hand reached over to pull it out.
Astonishingly, the book fell down beneath the altar as if it had lost its powers and became just another ordinary book. Bertelgia let out a cheer.
Sungchul casually looked over at the opening that the book had been placed into.
“Climb into here.”
“I think there’s something here. Something that your father left behind.”
She would normally ignore what Sungchul had to say, but when Sungchul had mentioned her father, she obediently flew over to the opening and closed her covers in order to push herself inside.
There was no response at first, but Bertelgia’s entire body began to become enveloped in bluish light.
“Are you ok?” Sungchul hurriedly asked.
“Yea, I’m ok. It just feels really warm here. And… wait a minute.”
She grew silent once again. Sungchul could only watch her patiently.
“I think I know it now. Everything regarding this golem. I don’t know how, but I think I can give commands to this golem!”
Thank you for participating in the synopsis contest dear readers! We will announce the winner near release of the book which hopefully will be out in April.
Third and Final Problem- As you can see here that there were no trials prior to this here so third problem makes it a bit confusing here. We haven’t read ahead as well so can’t explain. What we think is that it could be Author’s mistake here OR it could refer to something that will happen later that ties this test (like another area where first and second test are held) OR it could be a hint given by Eckheart that all ingredients in the 3rd place are to be removed here which is what they did here and cleared the test.