“You’ve done well to come here. I welcome you.”
Country of Arcane Magic, Svalinn.
Slightly away from the palace that was in the middle of the country, there existed a small estate that the Wisdom King Megrez resided in.
That was the first destination for Sei’s group. First location they absolutely had to visit in this journey to get close to the pinnacle called the Demon King and the Supreme Ruler.
The master of the estate, the elven living legend, the Wisdom King Megrez was forced to live the remainder of his life on a wheelchair due to the side effect he suffered from the battle 200 years ago.
Even then, it was possible to feel a certain strong pressure being given off by him just by him being there.
Sei’s group was guided towards a room inside the estate and gestured to sit on a simple yet well-made chair that was made using alchemy.
Having the living legend in front of them, even the bold and hard-headed individuals of Sei’s group could not completely hide their nervousness as everyone tried to sit down whilst making as little sound as possible.
However, for some reason, the sword saint sat on the ground and curled himself into a ball.
He did not know what etiquette was. Self-centred and whimsical, those were the traits associated with feline creatures.
Sei and Cruz were troubled by the act that overly portrayed “freedom”, however, the ever magnanimous and cheerful Megrez merely laughed it off calmly.
Come read for free at the original source two more free thoughts
“Ahh, I don’t mind it. Make yourself at home. You guys also don’t have to be that nervous. Even though I’m called the Wisdom King, I’m someone that’s long stepped down from the seat of power.”
Depending on the other side, the impudent act of the tiger was something that could result in them getting arrested on the spot, however, it seemed Megrez did not mind it.
Perhaps it was as expected of one of the heroes. They were used to eccentric and quirky oddball personalities.
Or perhaps, because the 7 Heroes were full of weird and eccentric people, the actions of the tiger was nothing more than a cute act for them.
“Now then, I assume the reason you have sought me was out to find a method to become stronger?”
“Yes. We have come in search of the method to boost Sei-dono here, who have come from a different world, to level 1000. We thought that as someone who had once reached that realm in the past, the Wisdom King-sama, might know a method.”
To Megrez’s question, Cruz answered.
In his voice, you could still detect some nerves. Most likely, it was influenced by the fact that they were both elves.
“Yes, I did indeed reach that realm once in the past. No, if it was 200 years ago, it was not just me but many individuals that stepped foot into that realm… If you look back on it now, it truly was a golden age for the humanoids. Never in the entire history was the power of the humanoids that high.”
“We would appreciate if it you could reveal that secret formula once again, and use it for the hero.”
“Secret formula, huh… Do you mind if I ask why you believe such a thing exist?”
Method on how Megrez and the others once reached level 1000. Cruz just now called that “Secret Formula”.
There were never any story or evidence which suggested that Megrez had used anything of that sort.
Although it sounded as if it was mere speculation, if you were to read between the lines and speak bluntly, it was as if he was directly being asked, “you didn’t follow the proper and correct way and used some fraud, didn’t you?”
But even then, they were sure that there was a special something that was being hidden from them. And for this particular point, Sei was of the same opinion.
The reason was because, without a special technique of some sort, it was almost impossible to reach that realm of level 1000.
In this world, the method for getting stronger was very simple. And it was “to kill another living thing”.
According to the book that Megrez had once published, every living thing to some degree had mana inside their bodies, whether it was a small or large amount.
Furthermore, mutation of the living thing was also caused by the existence of mana, and the stronger the body, the more of this mana it stored.
By killing and stealing the mana from another living thing, one was able to become stronger. That was the true form of the phenomenon called “level up”.
In other words, mutation and levelling up were fundamentally the same thing.
The only difference was whether the living thing transformed into a different creature or retained its form and become stronger. Megrez himself wrote at the end of his book as followed, “The creature who had continually levelled up and absorbed mana is able to pass on a part of that onto a future generation, whereby eventually will reach a point of transformation called the mutation.”
As such, putting it in a simple term, one merely had to continue fighting.
If one continued to kill the magical beast and the demons, they will get stronger whether they wanted to it not.
However, there was a major problem with this.
“That’s because, if one were to grow normally, there just isn’t enough mana (experience points) around to be able to reach that point.”
All one had to do to level up was to increase the mana that was stored inside of their bodies, however, the amount of mana required for the next level was not consistent.
For example, let’s assume that an individual was able to increase their level to level 2 by defeating one magical beast.
However, if a level 10 individual wanted to become level 11, they would need to defeat many tens of that same magical beast.
If one were to graph the amount of mana required to level up, the ratio of mana required for a single level will go up as you continue to level up. And by the time one reached a three-digit level, the amount of mana required for the single level became too astronomical to specify.
Two hundred years ago, even before the rise of an individual called Ruphas, there was the Vampire Princess Benetnash who was believed to be the strongest in the world. She had spent over a hundred years in conquering an entire continent by killing every single magical beast on it and literally building a mountain of corpses.
If one were to call killing the magical beasts the proper way to level up, there was no one better than her who faithfully followed this method.
Longevity and the near absolute dominance and power of the Vampire race. Only then, it was made possible for the entire continent worth of magical beast to be annihilated.
But even then, her level at the time was merely 600. It was still far from the level 1000 position.
‘Then all she needs to do is go crush another continent’ – one might think in such a way, however, it was not that simple.
As it was previously mentioned, the amount of mana required for the subsequent level up only went up exponentially. As such, even if she were to annihilate another continent, her level would only reach around level 700.
“Level 1000” was a realm that was set by the Goddess and to reach there meant that you were entering the domain of a deity.
However, the journey to reach that point was filled with struggle, thus it was not a point that was possible to be reached easily.
If one were to try and reach this point using the proper method, then they would at least need to kill every living creature on Midgard other than themselves.
If you looked at the battle between the Demon King and Ruphas, it was obvious. Level 1000s were no longer what could be called a living creature, but a transcendent being which could utterly destroy the world in a short amount of time.
An individual capable of facing off against the world alone. As such, to reach that state, they had the need to eat the entire world.
Level up was not a simple work that the current Ruphas believed it to be.
‘Magical beasts infinitely respawn so just keep killing them’ – such a thing was only possible because it was inside the game, and it was not a viable method in this world.
Nevertheless, 200 years ago, what was impossible was made possible.
Even the human race which had short lifespan was able to step foot onto the realm of level 1000.
It was clearly strange. It was hard to believe they reached that point using the proper method.
“There has to be something. A loophole that was given by the Goddess. A hope and a way out for the humanoids who have been driven into the corner.”
“….. If you were to ask if there’s something else, it indeed exists. However, before I answer that, let me make a question of my own. What do you guys think of the Goddess who had created this world?”
Although Megrez asked in a calm manner, his eyes were sharp.
There was no one in that room who could understand the underlying meaning of that question on the spot.
After a few seconds of silence, only Sei could faintly pick up the true meaning behind Megrez’s query.
At the same time, Sei was also able to figure out why Megrez had sent those golems to his group.
……… I see……. This person is……
Megrez must have noticed the change in Sei’s facial expression.
Although he did not say anything, inside of himself, the evaluation of the boy who came from another world was raised.
“Of, of course, she’s the great omnipotent Creation Goddess and the mother to us all. She’s the symbol of absolute justice… the law of this world and the very guidance of the world itself.”
“I see. A very model answer as expected from an acolyte. I’ve understood well now. For you guys – let’s follow what you’ve called it and say the secret formula. I cannot pass on the secret formula.”
“Wha!? Wh, how come!?”
“Because you do not understand. Just like in the past… Just as I did not back in the past.”
Come read for free at the original source two more free thoughts
Megrez’s tone was still as calm and pleasant as before.
However, his eyes were so sharp that it clearly conveyed the message that there was nothing more to say.
An unexpected refusal of cooperation from the hero. In response, Gants’s face stiffened and Cruz’s face made an expression of despair.
On the other hand, Friedrich yawned as if he was not involved in all of this. I’m begging you to read the atmosphere, stupid tiger.
“It, it can’t be.”
“However, you over there… I think your name was Sei, wasn’t it? I would like to have a conversation with you. I apologise, but can I get everyone other than him to stand up and leave the room?”
If Megrez had told “everyone leave”, perhaps Cruz would have persevered a bit more.
Notwithstanding, even if it was just a single person, the fact that they were permitted to remain behind gave hope to Cruz, causing his words to be pushed back down.
There was a consolation in knowing that not everyone had been abandoned by the Wisdom King. If anything, there was a chance that by being overly persistent, they would all be chased out from that place altogether.
After a short deliberation… Cruz, by making eye contact with Sei, conveyed the message, “Please, I’ll leave things to you.”
“Understood…. We will be stepping down. Let’s go, everyone.”
They could not understand what they did wrong.
However, the final result showed they did not pass the Wisdom King’s judgement. It was as simple as that.
Everyone other than Sei reluctantly left the room and the vice-captain who was last to leave dragged the tiger along with him.
Finally, the only ones to be left in the room was Sei and Megrez.
“Now then, Sei-kun… I will ask you the same question again. What is your opinion of the Goddess?”
“……… I really don’t know well. I just simply don’t know enough about this world to be able to answer that question. But, I think she stinks a little.”
It was an opinion that would never have been uttered by a person of this world. It was a statement of unparalleled blasphemy towards the image of the Creation Goddess.
It was a statement that could only be made because he was an alien that came from another world.
Even Megrez narrowed his eyes with interest and awaited Sei’s next words.
“When we first went out on a journey, we heard the Demon King say something.
That… the Goddess’s will was involved in the strange battle between the 7 Heroes and Ruphas that happened 200 years ago.
Of course… it’s not like I believe everything the Demon King said… but… I agree with him that there were some strange aspects to it.
That’s why I came here to ask you. To ask… whether the battle from 200 years was really what you guys wished or not.”
“You came across the Demon King…. I’m surprised that you guys are fine.”
“It seemed he didn’t even put us in his sight.”
As Megrez pondered and thought about what was said, he crossed his arms.
After being told as such, it seemed he was able to recall something.
The colour of his face could not be said to be good by any means.
“I have no intention of making any excuse this late. It’s an unchangeable fact that I betrayed my friend 200 years ago.
Nevertheless, I will also admit we were too impulsive. As a result of losing their greatest threat called Ruphas, the demons took the opportunity and took charge, leading us to the current state of the world.
It’s strange, but… it’s really hard for a person to come to understand oneself.
200 years ago, I was scared of Ruphas and let go of my hand which was holding onto her sleeve. I’m not sure if that was an action I took due to my real feelings or the result of being induced by someone…. I’m not able to make that judgement myself.
At the very least, I was clearly aware of what I was doing and did not feel like I was being manipulated by someone.”
Megrez did not stop after saying this.
There was pain and bitterness on his face as if he was a sinner that was forced to face their own sin.
“If I think about it, everyone was indeed acting weirdly at the time.
Mizar, Alioth, Phecda, Dubhe, Merak…. Everyone had their own thoughts about Ruphas.
Envy, jealousy, fear, competition… there’s no doubt that everyone had some form of feeling that made them feel that they had lost against Ruphas in some way.
But at the time, that feeling was too prominent. As if it was amplified, everyone couldn’t feel anything but defeat. Looking back on it, maybe I was also the same.
… Only Benetnash managed to stay normal without acting strangely.”
Memory manipulation, amplification of emotions, or maybe even mind control.
In any event, to be able to manage any of that without being noticed by the target… it was clear how powerful the person had to be.
But Sei had already made his belief, his conviction.
Most likely, not just Megrez and the other heroes, but the entire world…. He was already convinced that every living thing was induced and influenced by the Goddess. That they were under the control of the Goddess.
Because… it was just weird.
There was a thing like status with a limitations like level. There existed magical beasts and demons. And the humanoids were suffering whilst the Goddess did nothing, yet…. No one felt any absurdness from the whole situation.
Furthermore, there was a strangeness and suspiciousness to the fact that demons had yet to annihilate the humanoids.
If the demons had put their minds to it, the humanoids should have long perished.
At the very least, the Demon King had the power to make that happen.
Yet, the demons had not managed to erase the humanoids. Not only that, the average level of the demons had decreased as if they were matching with the humanoids.
In the past, it was overflowing with level 1000s, right? And the demons and the magical beasts were strong enough to be able to retaliate against them, right?
But for some reason, they no longer had that.
As if they were matching up with the humanoids… they could now be scattered by the level 120 sword saint?
Even the 7 Luminaries that he heard about in the stories were around level 300… the quality had clearly gone down far too much.
Similar to the cat playing around with the mouse, even though the humanoids were suffering, the other party held back to just a degree so that annihilation would not occur.
That was the image of this world painted by Sei in his mind.
“Wisdom King-sama, I want to hear it from your mouth. Ruphas Mafahl is… not an enemy, right?
That’s why you stuck the golems with us. So that, in case of one-in-a-million chance, if we made a mistake and managed to corner her, they would hinder us.
Although it was impossible with our actual abilities, it would become questionable which way things would roll if the Goddess interfered.”
“……. It’s exactly as you say. I no longer think of her as an enemy.
No, even back then. The methods she used might have been cruel, but she was an ally that wished for the freedom and peace of the humanoids from the bottom of her heart…. Even though… she was an ally…”
Seeing the Megrez who looked like he would start crying any moment, Sei stood up and spoke.
The reason he was called to this world was most likely to defeat the Demon King and Ruphas.
However, he could no longer fulfil that role nor did he have the intention to do so.
At least one of them…. He understood well that to defeat Ruphas equated to tightly squeezing his own neck.
In that case, there was something else that he had to do.
There had to be another road that he should have sought.
Come read for free at the original source two more free thoughts
“Please fight together with me. I’m still weak and… I still don’t know anything about this world and… I don’t even have the resolution to fight and….
But, even then, I wish to stop it.
To not fire at the pre-determined target, but to stop the individual who’s forcing that onto another.
That’s why I need your cooperation.”
The enemy that he had to fight existed elsewhere.
The target of his gun must never be wrong.
Exactly, the person that his party should fight – was not Ruphas Mafahl!
Sei: “….. is what I want to think. Or more like—– I don’t want to fight something like that (shake shake shiver shiver) * trauma triggered
Megrez: (Is this boy alright……)
As such, this time it was also about the hero.
I had them address a few questions in regards to what many of you were thinking; “strangeness in the average level going down”.
Although, for this particular point, it seems a few people were already thinking “Ah, there has to be some trick behind all of this – “ but….
From next time, we will be returning to Ruphas’s side.
(Author note end)
__ I assume the author is referring to the fight with the Demon King. As a side note: I actually don’t recall if the battle with the Demon King happened RIGHT AFTER the battle with Ruphas or if there was some time in between… I just always assumed there was a small time difference between Ruphas/Demon King fight, but it seems it was right after another. In any event, the author is talking about the curse Megrez received after the heroes challenged and lost against the Demon King. The curse is first mentioned in Chapter 13.  Yeah…. “Wisdom King-sama” sounds weird… but deal with it It’s for consistency >.<