Note: Name of one of the tomes Sungchul received last chapter has been changed from ‘Let’s Make Our Own Spell! Introduction to Spell Incantation’ to ‘Let’s Make Our Own Formation! Introduction to Incantation Formation’
There didn’t exist a magic at present that Sungchul couldn’t learn in a single go. Sungchul added both of the books to his repertoire at once. Flight magic known as Fly was added to his catalogue of spells and the Incantation Formation was added to his list of abilities. Sungchul stayed at the former lord’s estate and took his time inspecting his newly learned abilities.
First was Fly.
This was flight magic that granted its users levitation and also the ability to maneuver in the air. Mages would commonly prefer Levitation. Strictly speaking, it only offers the simple ability to hover rather than actual flight, but Levitation can be sustained for a set duration of time without any additional casting which gives its user the ability to move at high speeds over any terrain while in the air.
On the other hand, Fly granted the ability to freely maneuver in the air, but it required constant casting in order maintain its flight. In other words, it meant that no other spell could be used while flying with Fly. Therefore, despite Fly allowing more maneuverability, it was only used by witches that needed to travel very long distances, and it was ignored by the average mages and considered as second tier magic.
However, Sajators’ Multicasting completely negated the critical weakness of Fly. Sungchul flew around the vicinity of the residence with Bertelgia while experiencing the versatility of Multicasting.
‘So it’s set up to go faster as you expend more mana forcefully.’
Sungchul spent the week starting with the basic maneuvers, such as acceleration and deceleration, before practicing the more complex ones such as suddenly stopping and accelerating, abrupt direction changes in midair, attacking mid-flight with magic, and utilizing various tools such as the Demonic Weapon Cassandra.
Sungchul began to arrive at the point where he could freely move as he wanted. This new ability allowed him to fight massive opponents such as the colossus and opponents that harassed him in the air like Sajators in ways he couldn’t before.
The next thing he tried was the construction of installation type seals known as Incantation Formations. The main point of this magic, more commonly known as Formation Magic, was to combine runes that formed the components of a spell within a fixed space, calling forth the caster’s desired magical effect. Magic traps and other similar spells were the most widely recognized examples of Formation Magic.
Although Incantation Formation could call forth powerful effects intended by the caster without additional casting or mana consumption once it was set up, it was difficult to utilize properly and there were restrictions such as having to satisfy strict conditions. As a result, its popularity was hit or miss among the Mages.
Sungchul’s previous stance on Incantation Formations was that there was no use for them other than as warning seals, but after facing magicians at the top of their fields such as Marakia and Sajators, he had changed his mind. At the very least, from what Sungchul could tell, there was no other magic that could surpass it in terms of defense. Based on the kind of restrictions and the cost of the spell to set it up, it was possible to construct a formation that could even block a blow of Sungchul’s god-like strength.
Of course, he was still a beginner. The Incantation Formation he had mastered was of the most basic level where he could only combine up to three runes of a very limited variety. He should be able to increase the number and variety of runes that could be combined once he acquires the tome for advanced level Incantation Formation, but as of now, Sungchul was thinking of practicing with what he had at the moment. Arranging what was available within the introductory book, there were four categories of runes Sungchul currently had access to: Rune of Capacity, Rune of Condition, Rune of Enhancement, Rune of Restriction. They were all of the lowest tier.
Regardless of the circumstance, in order to create a proper Incantation Formation, the Rune of Condition which acted as the incantation trigger and the Rune of Capacity which contained the spell which would become the core were required. The Rune of Enhancement and Restriction both worked to amplify the power of the Incantation Formation, but with a detailed look, their difference was clear. While the Rune of Enhancement could be used to spend Magic Power to improve the effectiveness of a Formation magic, the Rune of Restriction applied some kind of harm upon the caster in exchange for amplifying the spell’s power. The Rune of Restriction was more effective in the amplification of the Incantation, but the amount of risk was higher too; like a double-edged sword. The physical barrier formation that had been cast by Marakia in the Kingdom of Nahaks had a severe restriction in order to reinforce the power of the incantation to an extreme degree.
However, because Sungchul had no defensive magic or runes, he could only make magic traps pertaining to Glare.
Its production method was quite simple. All he had to do was gather his magic power into the the Rune of Capacity in order to store Glare, then set-up the Rune of Condition with an activation condition. Sungchul set-up the most basic of activation conditions where the trap will be triggered automatically if a target invades a particular area. Lastly, he completed the incantation formation with a Rune of Enhancement that consumed additional Magic Power. As there was no room to add the Rune of Restriction in the case of Magic Traps, he excluded it. All that was left was to test it.
Sungchul wanted to use Bertelgia, but as she could die, he personally rushed into the formation he had made himself. The effect was no different than an ordinary trap. Once he stepped into the area designated by the condition rune, the Glare stored within the Rune of Capacity was amplified by the Rune of Enhancement and flew toward Sungchul. Glare’s speciality was in being difficult to dodge, hence the beam struck right onto Sungchul’s body.
A small hole formed on a portion of the coat.
‘Damn! I should’ve taken off my coat.’
In any case, the Incantation Formation practice went much more smoothly than flight training. Sungchul didn’t possess many spells at the moment, so there was nothing more to gain from continuing to play with runes. The most important part of rune formation was how quickly and effectively one could form the incantations during combat when life hung on by a thread, but regarding that aspect, he would consider more on it after obtaining the advanced level tome.
Thus, Sungchul spent approximately ten days familiarizing with his new magic, but not everything was going so smoothly. There wasn’t much progress in currying the favour of the Carbuncles through the Fog Guide. It was because of Ahmuge. As her location could not be assured even with Sungchul’s superhuman senses, it wasn’t easy to sit around unguarded while using the Fog Guide, but Bertelgia came up with an idea.
“Can’t we just use the Fog Guide where that woman can’t enter? Isn’t it possible for someone who’s stupid strong like you to just make that kind of place? You can dig a cave or build a home with rocks or something.”
The reason for Bertelgia’s more proactive attitude was simple. She could return to her original form within the dream world. It was difficult for Sungchul to accept, but she had great confidence in her human appearance, in fact, she would furtively bring up her past at every opportunity without being asked.
“I had a lot of guys chasing after me any time I left the village! They called me the Queen Bee of Kodia Village.”
“You’re being annoying.”
Of course, Sungchul was only half-listening, but he deeply agreed with her that the Soul Gems had to unlocked.
Sungchul wandered around the forest before he found an adequate cave that he was pleased with. There was a family of Tiger Bear already living there. But unlike the time in Summoning Palace, they were too weak to be depended upon so he chased them away. Sungchul, having discovered a shelter, stocked up on food and water that could be eaten long term within the cave before returning to Toporo Village which he hadn’t visited in a while.
The hot topic going around the village at the moment was Aquiroa’s sudden disappearance. Even in this city state that hears an endless stream of brutal and violent rumors, the peculiar case of the disappearance of the Second Champion of the Continent along with her all-white airship was being treated as an extremely major case; only the corpses of guards and wolfman were found aboard a hot air balloon.
The only ones who knew the truth behind the matter were Sungchul and Kha’nes. Procrustes, Aquiroa’s flagship, had been hidden in the vast forest behind the Tower of Recluse where people didn’t dare enter.
The problem was that that this incident was not a matter that could be simply swept under the rug. There were rumors that the World Parliament had formally requested the Tower of Recluse to summon Kha’nes who was connected to this incident. Because, for whatever her reason it was for, it did not change the fact that Aquiroa had called upon Kha’nes. There was no mention of the Enemy of the World having been involved with Aquiroa however. It was either covered up, or the sole witness, Sujin, had not reported it, but Sungchul wasn’t largely concerned with it. What he wanted to know was not information about someone who’s already been crossed off, but rather the reaction around the world in response to the news of her demise; especially the movements of the Seven Heroes.
Sungchul managed to acquire an informant within the thieves guild through acquaintances with much difficulty, allowing him to hear news of the outside world. There wasn’t much difference from what he had heard a fortnight ago. It was the grim news that the colossi that shared names with Bertelgia razed the Eastern regions of the continent and the empires that bore the duty to defend the region, simply watched it happen. But that wasn’t all. The rogue with a scar running vertically down his face haggled for more money. When Sungchul handed him another gold coin, he beamed before scanning his surroundings and speaking in a hushed voice.
“They say a man calling himself a Calamity has appeared leading the Colossus at the Eastern frontier of the Human Empire. Arcadia, which stood as the gateway to the Eastern frontier, seems to have already been destroyed. The Emperor of the Human Empire immediately called for a subjugation order leading his entire fleet to prepare for battle.”
The information was a bit lacking considering the payment, and it was difficult to take the words of a foreign thieves’ guild member at face value. Sungchul asked the thief in a calm voice.
“What is the name of the man who claims to lead the Colossus?”
The thief placed his hands into his bandana to scratch his head and pulled a louse out of his hair before tossing it into his mouth and making his reply.
“Eh… I’m not so sure. Gashibok? Did he call himself Gashibok?”
“Was it perhaps Ga Xi Ong?”
“That could have been it too. In any case, he was a skinny guy who looked pathetic, but he must have been some scary swordsman. People say that everyone that faced him dried up and died as a mummy when he used his Greatsword.”
Sungchul rubbed his chin and lowered his head. The thief might not have realized it, but the person he was describing almost completely matched one of the Seven Heroes, The Devourer of Souls Gashiong.
‘The Seven Heroes swept up the smaller nations within the Northern and Eastern frontiers in the end and is probably looking to invade the Human Empire in the central region of the continent.’
Their actions were predetermined but it would not be easy. Sungchul believed so. Because in the Empire was the Emperor. And many rulers of the continent that have an understanding with the Emperor were standing by him.
The Seven Heroes might have powerful colossi, but fighting against the Emperor meant facing against the collective might of the continent amassed over the ages. They would be met with an extraordinary force that couldn’t be compared to the small warring nations of the North and the East. If things went well, the 13 Champions of the Continent might even deal with a number of the Seven Heroes as well. This was result Sungchul was ideally hoping for.
‘At the very least, they should be able to buy me some time.’
Sungchul made up his mind and rose from his seat. It was so that he could isolate himself in order to free up the Soul Gems, but something caught his attention as he was about to pass through the plaza. A single man was in the middle of the plaza ringing a bell that was located in front of the village meeting hall with great vigor. The people who heard the sound of the bell poked their heads out of their windows one by one.
“Hm? That man is…!”
Bertelgia recognized the face and whispered to Sungchul quietly. The man was none other than Tangrit the monk. Foreigners saw his shabby appearance and quickly turned their gazes, but those from the village were not so callous.
“What nerve did that person have to show up here?”
“Has he no shame?”
“He must be going senile.”
Cold ridicule showered upon him from every direction of the plaza. Tangrit heard those remarks, but resolutely pulled on the rope connected to the bell continuously to let the sound of the bell toll in every direction of the village. Eventually, the village chief and his associates revealed themselves in front of the meeting hall.
“Just what are you doing, Sir Tangrit!”
The stately chief shouted at Tangrit with a glare on his face, and when he did, the monk finally stopped the ringing, and turned to face the villagers that were giving a cold stare to him before shouting,
“It is not the time to be so idle. The village is in danger!”
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