“Ancient Magic? It’s related to Joshua’s Left Arm, right?” Sila offered his theory . He had heard about this kind of magic a couple of times, such as when Clute’s Rune Magic was mentioned by Sebastian . However, he still failed to understand the difference between Ancient Magic and other kinds of magic . It was probably due to the fact that magic was the type he used the least and had the weakest understanding of, on top of it being his least compatible energy type .
“Master Joshua’s Left Arm is literally an embodiment of Ancient Magic, which is the ultimate tier of magic in existence . There are twenty-three magic abilities classified as Ancient Magic . When they don’t have an owner, Master Joshua can freely wield the unowned magic . It can be said that the magic returns to its leftful owner . ”
“Joshua must be incredibly powerful, right?” Sila asked .
“Rather, Master Joshua is Monster Soul’s weakest . He abides by the rule of non-possession . Be it magic, qi, psychic power, items, or equipment, only if no one possesses them will they be in Master’s possession . His power is bottomless but there is a limitation . If everything is owned by other beings, he will be powerless . ”
“That doesn’t sound weak to me . ” Sila showed a dry smile .
“Absolutely . The highest and the lowest points are the same place . Magic is what Master Joshua most excels at . That’s because magic is nature itself and no one can own the entirety of nature . When Nixroth, the left arm, is utilized together with Albalos, it will be unbeatable . ”
“The Left Leg of the Sealed One,” Zarnak briefly replied .
“You seem to know everything . Why?” asked Sila . He used to search for Joshua’s information in the past when he obtained the quest: Search for the Sealed One . However, he found next to nothing .
“I know only what my masters know . I have lived for a long time and have had many masters, each of them seeking to become the strongest . Master Joshua was, is, and probably will always be the one standing at the zenith, so it’s natural that my masters sought information about him . You’re wrong to assume that I know everything . All of my knowledge came from my masters . Some personally witnessed Joshua while some only heard rumors . There are many more things that I do not know . Take Seraphine for example . While I know that she could use Ancient Magic, I do not know what kind of magic it is nor what it is capable of . She lived and died before I had even come into existence . I only heard rumors about her . The chants of some spells even mention her name . ”
Information about Joshua used to be unattainable for Sila in the past . Ironically, it became easily accessible now that he didn’t need it . Sila didn’t think he would get to meet Joshua again . However, out of curiosity, he asked without thinking .
“There are seven parts of the Sealed One . Do you know all of them?”
“If it’s about the name and its general ability, I know about almost all of them . However, if you meant detailed information, I can only describe one . ”
“Which one?” Sila asked, interested .
“Illuminus, obviously, my silly master . I just told you I know everything my masters know . Illuminus was once in your possession, so it’s a given that I know its details . ”
“Oh, you’re right . Well, tell me about other parts . ”
Zarnak slithered out from the armor and coiled around Sila, turning itself into a black dome . Inside, Sila could see only darkness . He suddenly felt weightless as the darkness faded away and was replaced by a 360-degrees bright screen . It was as if he was watching a movie in a theater .
“The Right Arm, Illuminus . You already know about it . Its main abilities are protection and confinement, using the absorbed damage as its source of power . ”
The screen showed the movements of Sila, when he still had Illuminus, in several actions . It could be said that he was watching a documentary about himself .
“Impressive . You’re very versatile . ”
Zarnak ignored Sila’s reaction . The scenes changed, showing Joshua and Montra . Their left arms were pitch-black as if the darkness itself had been swallowed up by it .
“The Left Arm, Nixroth . You have seen it with your own eyes . Nixroth can exert the power of Ancient Magic while completely disregarding the conditions required to learn them . Like I said, there are a total of twenty-three magics classified as Ancient Magic . I have only seen six of them throughout my life though . The first one is Lord Yama’s Abysmal Punishment Magic, which will be inescapable if your eyes have met Lord Yama’s even once . ”
The image showed Lord Yama making an appearance from a first-person point of view . The instant that Sila’s eyes met him, the scales in Lord Yama’s hand moved, then the image shut off .
“That was the last scene that one of my masters saw . Abysmal Punishment Magic will become more powerful according to the number of lives that the target has slain . Only victims sharing the same race as the target are counted though . Also, the magic can’t be used on the same target twice . If you have killed more than ten thousand humans or slimes, you will die in one hit . ”
Sila quickly tried to recall how many slimes and humans he had killed . However, before he could start calculating, the next scene had already unfolded . it seemed Zarnak didn’t mind his thoughts at all .
“I have seen Master Joshua use two other Ancient Magics in the past . The first was Spell Manipulation Magic, which can manipulate magic spells to a high degree, including altering their elements and conditions . For example, the user can change a single-target spell to become an areof-effect spell, or vice versa . ”
The image showed a scene where Joshua cast a spell named ‘Death Arrow’ and delayed it in his right hand . Angels, who were surrounding him, stopped in their tracks .
Zarnak explained that Death Arrow was a deadly single-target spell that came with a downside . The user could cast it only once in their lifetime . However, when Joshua exerted the power of Spell Manipulation Magic with his left hand on the arrow, it multiplied and flew into the sky before raining back down by the thousands, massacring the angels and turning them all into light .
“The other one is . . . ”
The scene changed, showing a certain someone Sila already knew . Although the man’s appearance was somehow different, Sila could still tell who the man was .
“That’s Mamon, right?”
“One of my masters secretly watched the battle between the devil race and the Sealed One from afar . That time, the magic Master Joshua utilized was Borrowed Time Magic . It’s a magic that specializes in delaying buffs and debuffs . It has the ability to postpone the effect of any skills for a period of time, after which it forces the caster of the delayed skill to pay the required resources again, though it’ll think the spell is being cast twice and still use the original resources for two casts . If the skill’s owner is rendered incapable of using the skill before the period is over, the skill will become invalid . ”
“Sounds confusing . ”
“Watch, and it will be easier for you to understand, my never-understood-thing master . As you can see, Mammon tried to use his skills on Master Joshua . However, with Borrowed Time Magic, Joshua postponed the skills’ effects to a later point in time . . . ”
Mamon continued using his skills while swearing ‘You cheating bastard!’ non-stop . A few minutes later, he was defeated and sealed within a card .
“Now that Mammon was defeated, the time finally came for Master Joshua to accept the debuffs . However, as the skills’ owner was no longer in a state where he could use the skills, they ended up in vain . This is just a rough explanation, by the way . There are many other ways to utilize the magic . Let’s say if someone sacrifices an item to place a curse on the magic’s user and the user postpones it using Borrowed Time Magic . . . even if the curse is cast a second later, the skill may still fail if the curse’s user lacks the required resources to cast the curse again, such as insufficient magic points (since they just cast the curse), lacking the item that is sacrificed (if they only brought one), or failed to fulfill other conditions required by the spell (like a specific time has passed, or the environment has changed) .
“As for the remaining three Ancient Magics I have seen, you have also seen them . It can be said that, among all of my masters, you’re the one who has seen Ancient Magic in action the most .
“Rune Magic belonging to the ancient golem race . It’s a ritual-based magic with a total of twenty-four letters . Each of the letters is powerful and can be used together to show a synergistic effect . The downside of the magic is how easy it is to destroy it . Just a small scratch on the letter will render the rune ineffective . ”
The screen showed scenes where Clute used Rune Magic in various applications . Sila had personally seen them before, so he wasn’t interested .
“The next is Fairy Raiment Magic, which can create an eternally-lasting light armor using a soul . Item creation is usually an area of expertise for psychic-type beings, but this magic can produce goods that aren’t inferior in any way to those produced by the highest-tier psychic skills . That is why it is classified as Ancient Magic . ”
The Fairy Queen extracted a soul from a Soul Crystal to weave glamorous clothing for Lomyok . Sila had seen it with his own eyes, so he didn’t feel very excited about it .
“The last one is maze-type magic, Ice Labyrinth of Resentful Spirits, which you personally encountered in the Winter Forest . I have no clue who the caster was though . This magic can be delayed for a very long period of time . In fact, if there is a sufficient amount of mana supplementing it, it can continue to function eternally . It will activate automatically when the conditions, set by the caster, have been met . The magic has the characteristics of a confinement domain . It will imprison targets until it runs out of mana . ”
The screen showed the scene where hundreds of snow fairies surrounded Sila, Burapha, Bluebird, Lomyok, Asura, Franz, and Sebastian while blowing freezing winds . However, the magic domain eventually collapsed thanks to Mamon . The scene where the snow fairies cried as they were slain was so sorrowful that Sila somehow felt sad .
Returning to his original explanation, Zarnak began to describe the next Part of the Sealed One . “The Right Leg, Kararus, can create a replica of any weapon that the user has seen before with their own eyes . The replicated weapon will possess the same characteristics, options, and attack power as the original . The disgusting part about it is the fact that the user can create an unlimited number of replicas . I didn’t see it with my own eyes, but I heard that when Master Joshua fought against God, he summoned the Godly Spear Longinus, that God himself was holding in his hand, before throwing it at God with the spear’s item skill: Miraculous Beam of Light . Just so you know, the skill is unfathomably powerful, but with the downside that the spear will break upon using . Joshua then summoned yet another Godly Spear Longinus and repeated this until God had no choice but to flee . I’m guessing there must be some condition for utilizing the Right Leg, but I’m clueless as to what it is . ”
“I agree, otherwise it would be too fraudulent . ”
“The Left Leg, Albalos, was the part that Master Joshua used as often as Nixroth . The leg connects to all of nature, granting him the ability to instantly move himself to anywhere he has been before . With it, not only could he borrow mana from the surrounding environment, but he could also utilize mana and make use of special environmental characteristics from everywhere he had been . Even if he was in a place where using a skill is forbidden, he could still use them with complete ease or even receive environmental buffs from places he had visited previously . With the Left Leg, the user is considered to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time . ”
The more he heard, the more Sila understood why Mamon didn’t like Joshua . If Mamon was the greatest cheater, there would be no words left to define Joshua . Fortunately, Joshua seemed to fight against monsters solely for the purpose of balancing the game, and has never bothered players directly . If not, the number of complaints the game company received every day would skyrocket .
“The Torso, Bahm, is truly a torso befitting the ultimate being . It is divided into Bone, Muscle, and Blood . Bone allows the user to use all three energy types without any setbacks . Muscle helps the user break through their limits, meaning every skill reaching Level 100 will immediately become Transcendent Rank . As for Blood, it flows and circulates differently in each battle . Upon being attacked, if the user meets the requirements, they will immediately acquire the skill most suitable for surviving the attack . ”
Sila naturally understood the significant difference between a skill at Level 100 and Transcendent Rank since he had some skills at those levels . It was totally possible that every skill in Joshua’s possession had already reached Transcendent Rank .
The next scene shown was when Shueria fought against Sila on a narrow path in front of the Valley of Immortals . As Sila had expected, Shueria exerted the power of the Heart of the Sealed One in the battle .
“Aurikga, the Heart, is a source of bottomless power . Its ability isn’t as complicated as the other parts . It simply grants the user absurdly high resource regeneration . Your friend, Shueria, has yet to bring the Heart to its final stage . At the final stage, the Heart can even accelerate the speed of a skill’s cooldown time—enabling the user to spam a powerful skill—and accelerate the duration of a skill’s effect—rendering any abnormal conditions rather ineffective . ”
Zarnak slowly retracted and returned to Sila’s armor . Counting, Sila found that only six parts were mentioned .
“Hm? What about the Eyes? You forgot to mention the Eyes of the Sealed One, didn’t you?”
“I don’t have any information relating to the Eyes for you, my greedy master . Actually, the Eyes of the Sealed One is the most puzzling artifact . No one knows its whereabouts, its ability, or even its name . From the very beginning of time, it’s speculated that Master Joshua has never used it, not even once . Some said that it has never been in Joshua’s possession, even until now . According to the rule of non-possession, this means the Eyes have belonged to someone else for a very long time . ”
“Well, we have to wait until Burapha comes into contact with Children of the Sea . It will take some more time for them to prepare people and products . I guess it won’t be until tomorrow that we can depart . This is just noon . What should we do for now?” Sila asked Zarnak .
“My forgetful master, even though you complimented me for being versatile, I have already told you that I’m a dragon, not a clock nor a guidebook . You can do whatever . I’m not interested . ”
“Can’t you just give me some suggestions? I have never had free time, so I’m clueless about what to do now that I suddenly became free . ”
“ . . . ” Zarnak was speechless for a moment . “In that case, how about going out and hunting some monsters? Based on your memories, you have never taken hunting monsters seriously . So far, it’s all about monsters who were unfortunate enough to block your path or specific ones that you were looking for . Your current level is Level 430 Lord Rank . For you to win against the man named Montra, who is at Level 1,000 Emperor Rank, you should at least close the gap as much as you can . ”
“You mean . . . hunting monsters just for the sake of grinding levels?”
“Correct . At the same time, it will benefit you as you can search for monster cards . There are still five empty card slots in Twin Souls Sword Collection . Leaving the card slots empty is obviously not a smart idea . ”
“I guess you’re right . I haven’t equipped monster cards for so long that I forgot this game has this function . ”
“In a high-level battle, sometimes the victor is decided by a small factor such as what cards the combatants have equipped or what support items they use . ”
Sila frowned . “But . . . Monster cards won’t drop that easily . I don’t have the Greed Card anymore . ”
“Just use the traditional method used by ordinary humans, my unthoughtful master . Quantity over quality . Hunt a lot . Among thousands of monsters, one will surely drop a card . ”
“Thousands of Lord Rank monsters? Can I handle them? It will be like fighting against a thousand Sebastians . ”
“ . . . ” Zarnak fell silent a second time . “Did you seriously think that you could find that number of Lord Rank monsters? I know you rarely fight against monsters with a lower level than yours . However, the hunting method you have used so far is incorrect . Traditionally, grinding levels should be done by hunting a lot of lower-level monsters, or gathering many comrades to gang up on a higher-level opponent . There aren’t many places where a group of Lord Rank monsters gather . With Siaferia City as an exception, I doubt you can find them . ”
“Oh! That! I remember I almost got a chance to experience that with Tiger and his teammates on the Island of Beginnings . They invited me to hunt Elves . Well, I missed it as Varee asked me to return to the Town of Beginnings . ”
“I don’t want to listen to your story . Did you forget that I already know everything about you?”
“Ah, you’re right, I forgot . ” Sila scratched his head in embarrassment . “Where should we go, then?”
“We are around Zhongsuyuan City . If you go north, you will arrive at Sky-Breaking Canyon where you can find various species of bird-race monsters . I heard that the Golden-Eyed Great Eagle has some unique ability, so a useful reward can be expected . On the other hand, if you go south, you’ll reach the Summer Forest where many monsters, mostly venomous ones, can be found . The notable ones are Silver Griffins, as they are the only magic-types in the forest . Arrows that are enhanced by their feathers will be able to fly twice the usual distance . ”
“Which one should we go to?”
“I told you I’m not . . . ” Zarnak stopped briefly before continuing, “ . . . Whatever . I don’t want to haggle with you anymore . If it were me, I would go south since the Mountain Thieves League’s turf is nearby . In addition, the monsters living there are more diverse and higher in number . If you hunt the entire forest, you’ll get at least a dozen cards and your level will increase by about one hundred . ”
“An entire forest? That will be impossible . ” No matter how inferior the monsters were compared to him, Sila still only had two arms and two legs . He couldn’t possibly wipe out all of the monsters in the entire forest .
“Ordinary people can’t, but you surely can . Think of it as a chance to put that skill to practical use . You better learn the extent and the limitations of the skill so that you won’t make a mistake when you actually have to use it . ”
“Which skill are you talking about?”
Zarnak released a heavy sigh of boredom . “My never-once-taking-hint master . . . The aforementioned skill is none other than Omniscient Evil God Qi . ”