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Chapter 215 - Philosophers Stone (8)

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 215 - Philosopher's Stone (8)

    The beautiful children started to bustle around and set the table.

    Anastasia was quietly sitting in the corner, looking at her disciple, Victoria.

    She was dressed properly now, and rather than looking decadent, she looked more seductive.

    Yeon-woo looked at Anastasia, the beautiful children, and then Victoria.

    From what he had heard, the beautiful children weren’t just Anastasia’s servants, but they were bound to her. And he could feel a monstrous energy from them. A few of them would be difficult to deal with.

    Gumiho. If it was the Legendary and Demonic Beast of 9 Tails, it was completely in the realm of possibility for her to do something like that.

    And indeed, she was strong enough to stand side-by-side with high rankers.

    If she had continued fighting with Yeon-woo?

    Yeon-woo might’ve never been able to finish the Philosopher’s Stone.

    Yeon-woo was thinking that Anastasia used to be a player, but now he realized that she was a Mythical Human after she had combined with a Legendary Beast.

    All players that cleared the 11th floor had a Mythical Beast, and unless you had a Taming skill like those of a summoner, most people used them for their magic power.

    If they were exposed to the outside, they would be injured anyway. And most of the floors weren’t good places for the Mythical Beasts to grow in.

    Instead, the players borrowed the power of their Mythical Beasts to strengthen themselves. That was the reason why most of the players he had met didn’t have a Mythical Beast around them.

    But occasionally there were people who wanted quick growth and combined with their beasts.

    The combination of humanity and a mythical being. A new type of existence was born. Most people called these people Mythical Humans.

    The Mythical Humans may seem interesting, but if you looked closer, they weren’t even that rare. Players would do anything to become strong, so of course they wouldn’t miss such a method.

    However, while most players were more human, Anatasia seemed to be more Legendary Beast than human. Her magic power that consisted of monstrous energy proved the fact.

    Whatever she was, Anastasia was looking down at Yeon-woo and Victoria from between the table.

    Edora was standing a foot behind them, glaring at Anastasia, as if she didn’t like something.

    They had moved to this new location after the roof of the building had collapsed.

    “How have you been?”

    “…..”

    Yeon-woo asked about what happened after they were separated, but Victoria couldn’t easily answer. Her hesitating attitude made it clear that she didn’t want to think about what had happened.

    So Yeon-woo was about to ask again, but Anastasia exuded her monstrous energy, like she wouldn’t let that happen.

    Just then, blue energy gathered in front of Yeon-woo and Rebecca appeared.

    [Victoria.]

    “Rebec…..ca?”

    Victoria’s eyes widened seeing Rebecca in front of her. Rebecca had definitely died in the Monkey King’s Palace. So how was she here?

    “Is she a spirit?”

    Unlike the surprised Victoria, Anatasia was looking at Rebecca with an amused expression. She was lighting her pipe on fire. White smoke floated up into the air.

    [Poor Rebecca. How much you must’ve suffered. I understand how you feel, but could you tell us? What happened until now? I think I deserve to hear at least that much.]

    Rebecca was sacrificed saving Victoria. Victoria had been living in the nightmare of that day until now. Thinking of Yeon-woo and Rebecca who might’ve been sacrificed because of her, she lived chased by guilt. She couldn’t escape that day.

    People complimented Victoria, saying she was an outstanding rune magician, but Rebecca knew all too well that Victoria had a frail heart after being with her for so long.

    Drip—

    Tears fell down Victoria’s cheek. She confirmed that Rebecca and Yeon-woo were fine now. Although Rebecca was a spirit, the fact that she was still here was comforting.

    “That day…..”

    Victoria began to explain what happened. Her voice was weak, and she looked tired.

    After barely escaping the palace with Yeon-woo’s help, Rebecca and Kahn began to be chased after people they couldn’t recognize.

    “You couldn’t tell who they were?”

    “Yeah…..They were all hiding their identities. However, I can be sure of this one thing. They definitely weren’t from a small clan.”

    ‘Were they from the Devil Army?’

    Yeon-woo quietly thought to himself.

    “We were chased like that for several days…..and Kahn stepped up.”

    The people who were following them didn’t give up, and Victoria and Kahn realized that they were in real danger. They didn’t even have anywhere to ask for help. Then, Kahn stepped up. He would deal with them, so she could run away.

    Victoria tried to stop him, but Kahn had bitterly smiled and made her pass out. When she opened her eyes again, Kahn and their followers were completely gone.

    “After I came to, I searched for Kahn, but I couldn’t find him. Even a single trace. And this is embarrassing, but…..”

    She should’ve continued to look for Kahn, but because of the fear that people might chase after her again, she left the 20th floor. Then, she asked for help from her teacher.

    But even after that, her trauma didn’t go away.

    Rebecca, Yeon-woo, and Kahn. The Sadhu who had been training with her were all sacrificed to save her. Even Kindred, who she thought was her friend, had tricked her. All these things made her mental defense as a great magician fall to the ground.

    The same went for now. Victoria was looking around anxiously like the trackers were still after her.

    Even if she knew that her teacher was protecting her, coming outside like this wasn’t easy for her.

    Eventually, Anastasia extended her hand to Victoria. The smoke coming from her pipe swirled around Victoria, and she fell asleep.

    Anastasia quietly stood up and sat next to Victoria. As she stroked Victoria’s head, she gave Yeon-woo an order.

    “I don’t know what you came here for, but this child can’t handle you right now, so go away.”

    Yeon-woo nodded his head. There was nothing else he could do. Even if he took Victoria back to the village, her condition would only grow worse.

    ***

    [That side of Victoria. I’ve never seen her like that.]

    While they left the building, Rebecca seemed to be in a shocked state. Most Sadhu who spent several years with all their senses blocked had strong mentalities.

    And the Victoria she knew was like that as well.

    She was a shameless and selfish magician. Even with those aspects, she had a warm heart. She was Rebecca’s only friend and conversation partner.

    Seeing someone like that in this state hurt Rebecca.

    On the other hand, Yeon-woo was thinking of where Kahn was.

    ‘Did he make some kind of deal with the Devil Army?’

    The Devil Army didn’t let go of their targets easily. But after that day, they hadn’t shown up in front of himself or Rebecca. That meant that Kahn had made some kind of deal with them.

    Just what was it? He couldn’t figure it out.

    However, there was something he suspected.

    The Devil Army was secretly beginning to move. From controlling Aether to Sesha’s kidnapping attempt—there was definitely something that connected them.

    ‘Is it related to Doyle?’

    But since Yeon-woo hadn’t heard the story from Kahn, there wasn’t anything he could do. Kahn’s whereabouts were still unknown.

    There was nothing he could do until a clue came out about Kahn and the Devil Army.

    ‘Are we back to square one now?’

    Victoria wasn’t in the state to help them. He wanted to ask for help from Anastasia, but she considered Yeon-woo to be an enemy. Then, he had to find someone equivalent to them, but there wasn’t anyone he could think of.

    A magician who was talented and not enemies with anyone. Just where would he get such a person? Even if there was, Yeon-woo didn’t have any way to meet them.

    ‘And the other 5 artisans are affiliated somewhere.’

    Yeon-woo was blank for a moment.

    ‘Or do I have to look for a mercenary?’

    Even skilled magicians sometimes worked as mercenaries to get money for their experiments.

    If he put them under the Pledge of Mana, it might work.

    However, doing that would have an astronomical price, and even if the Pledge of Mana was conducted, information could somehow be leaked.

    If that happened…..

    ‘Using the Kelat Auction will become difficult too.’

    What Yeon-woo wanted wasn’t just to finish the Philosopher’s Stone.

    He needed to shake the Tower up using the fake Philosopher’s Stone, and blame everything on the Walpurgisnacht.

    In front of the perplexed Yeon-woo, a refreshing breeze suddenly blew. It was a familiar energy. It was a breeze with monstrous energy.

    A yellowed book quietly came down. As Yeon-woo reached out for it, the book landed in his hands.

    Then, Anastasia’s Open Speaking rang in his head.

    [My disciple says to give this to you at least since she couldn’t be of any help. I don’t know why. Since you got this, don’t show yourself again.]

    The monstrous energy scattered.

    Rebecca quietly approached Yeon-woo. Her eyes became bigger seeing the title of the book.

    [Master, is this…..?]

    “Yeah. I think Victoria guessed what we came here for.”

    Just reading the title, ‘Total New Theories of Rune Magic: About the strength that comes from godly spirits and about the writing of gods,’ Yeon-woo could feel a migraine coming on.

    [These are Victoria’s research papers that she was planning on announcing to the Magic Tower’s scholars.]

    Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes. Victoria simply gave them this book?

    ‘Was that how bad her guilt was?’

    Yeon-woo blamed himself for not looking for Victoria sooner. Victoria was a lot more apologetic towards them than he expected.

    Yeon-woo glanced back at where they just left.

    He hoped Victoria would let go of the past and stand up again.

    ***

    Brahm turned bright after seeing Victoria’s research papers.

    “Sorcery. Since I’m weak in that area, it’ll definitely be a huge help. And I skimmed through it, but the understanding in this book is deep. She attempted to set up a completely new field of magic. Victoria. I’ve heard of her, but she’s more amazing than I thought.”

    The research that Victoria had worked on on the Five Mountains of Penances were enough to amaze Brahm.

    Yeon-woo was a bit surprised after hearing that.

    There were countless different fields and areas of magic, but they were all the result of endless research throughout time. It had already been hundreds of years, and the Magic Tower became even more conservative.

    Setting up a new field of magic in that strict world of magic meant that you were opening a new school of thought.

    It was challenging the current order of magic.

    It wasn’t easy, but Victoria had attempted this, and Brahm had judged it to be possible. That was how outstanding Victoria’s accomplishments were.

    Thanks to her, Brahm was able to learn more and work at the Philosopher’s Stone from another angle.

    Alchemy, white magic, black magic, elements, etc. As knowledge from various fields were used, the research started to roll again.

    All the materials and supplies in Intrenian were used up.

    However, the research didn’t stop.

    Henova’s collected wealth was donated, and even the Head Elder helped them, putting Yeon-woo in his debt.

    And after a time of 3 months had passed.

    “…..It’s done. Finally.”

    They were able to complete the formula.

    ***

    “What a shame. Even with the results, we aren’t able to try this again.”

    The Head Elder and Henova nodded in understanding at Brahm’s words.

    It was a formula they had spent sleepless nights working on. They had the outline of the Emerald Tablet, and direction from Yeon-woo, but it was the result of them combining all their knowledge.

    But regretfully, it wasn’t something that could be replicated.

    The things needed to make a single stone were ridiculous.

    “The souls of humans. What a foolish thing.”

    Thousands, maybe even ten thousands of human souls. Did they want them to commit genocide? And they couldn’t even just simply gather the souls. They had to refine souls that were sacrificed, and other factors were added in this.

    Since each process was horrifying, it was a relief that Yeon-woo brought the halfway finished stone, or else they might not have been able to attempt it.

    Of course, it wasn’t just human souls the stone was made up of. However, it was impossible to make it completely without those souls.

    So Brahm, the Head Elder, and Henova agreed to stay quiet about this.

    If the complete formula was leaked out, terrible things could happen in the Tower.

    If clans like the Red Dragon were able to make the Philosopher’s Stone, they wouldn’t even blink their eyes at taking the lives of thousands of players.

    And just with this research, they gained knowledge about other things, so they didn’t necessarily feel the stone was something they had to have.

    “Then let’s begin.”

    With Brahm’s orders, Yeon-woo nodded his head. Henova and the Head Elder looked at Yeon-woo with nervous expressions.

    Currently, there was no way to pull the stone out from next to Yeon-woo’s heart. He needed to intake the materials himself, and complete the stone according to the formula.

    Yeon-woo opened Intrenian and moved his hands towards the materials for the stone that Bahal had collected.

    “Absorb.”

    Clack, clack!

    Bathory’s Vampiric Sword clacked its teeth together and began to swallow the materials.

    Then—

    [Time Difference]

    Yeon-woo focused his everything on the Philosopher’s Stone.

    Just then, the Philosopher’s Stone lightly trembled.