The Book Eating Magician - chapter-17
At the Crossroad of Trust #1
After school, Theodore finished his dinner, like Professor Vince had said
to do, and walked with a sunken expression.
He didn’t have a chance to enjoy his victory over Garcia because he
knew why Vince called him. In the academy, there was no other person who
knew Theo better. He realized that Theo’s abilities had increased
‘Plus, he knows that I don’t have the money to buy magic reagents or
hire a tutor.’
Vince had cared for him more than anyone else in the past three years.
Theo had talked about his miserable money situation, which was almost
like a poor peasant’s, and his horrible mana sensitivity.
Vince was different from the other professors who didn’t pay much
attention to Theo. This situation was more dangerous because it was
Professor Vince, who always regretted seeing Theo’s talent go to waste
and tried to open up another path for him. Professor Vince would be able
to grasp the authenticity of Theo’s words.
Above all, there was the problem of coming up with a way of hiding
‘Damn, there is no answer no matter how I think about it. I can’t
make up excuses to Professor Vince. It will cause a misunderstanding, and
I might not be able to salvage this.’
Gluttony had said that there were over 100 ways to increase magic power,
but it had only told him one.
In this day and age, only three or four methods were known. Other methods
included black magic or fraudulent techniques, but it wasn’t rare for
the magic power to decrease instead. In a situation like this, there was
no hole to escape to.
How long did he worry about it? Theo had already arrived in front of
Professor Vince’s laboratory.
It was his first visit here since coming for the permit. Theo looked at
the brown door before him. At that time, he had come out of this room
with a gloomy face, and he now returned with entirely different worries.
The position he was in had changed a lot. The one-time 2nd Circle dunce
now had the best marks in the grade. This was the result of facing his
difficulties without turning back.
‘It is the same this time as well.’
He wouldn’t run away. Theo decided he would face it as he raised his
“Professor, it is Theodore.”
An answer came from behind the door, as if he had been waiting.
Theo turned the doorknob, and he could smell the usual scent of coffee.
The parchments and books spread out on the desk showed Professor
Vince’s diligence. He put down the parchment he was reading and looked
at Theo with a face that was difficult to read.
“You came right on time. The faculty meeting took longer than I
expected, so I just got back.”
It was as he said. The handling of Garcia Carter was a difficult problem
for the academy. Viscount Carter was famous, so they didn’t want to
punish his son and cause a problem. The professors were so concerned that
Vince was eventually forced to give up on expulsion or repeating a year.
After the meeting ran for two or three hours, it finally came to an end
with Viscount Carter’s showing up personally in a crystal ball.
–I’m really sorry that my foolish son was such a nuisance.
As an upright and honourable nobleman, Viscount Cater didn’t try to
make excuses for Garcia. Rather, he asked Vince to punish him strictly.
As a result, the principal of Bergen Academy decided to leave the
decision to Vince.
“It is unsatisfactory. The principal was afraid of the possible future
troubles if he made the wrong decision.”
Vince described the situation up to there and stopped talking for a
moment. Then he took a sip from the coffee cup on his desk, dissatisfied
that the professors at the academy were bureaucrats who only cared about
their own well-being.
On the other hand, Theo hadn’t expected much from the professors, so
his expression was still calm. Vince saw his reaction and put down his
“I spoke for too long. Should I go straight to the point?”
Before that, Vince pulled something out. It was an impressive pendant on
a silver chain. Theo could feel a considerable amount of magic power
coming from the red jewel in the middle.
Theo’s eyes naturally widened when he saw the pendant.
‘It’s an artifact! I’ve never seen such a high quality one
Thanks to spending two months at the black market trader, Theo quickly
noticed it. The silver pendant was something which couldn’t be compared
with any of the goods from the black market trader. Its configuration of
the magic power was completely different.
It might be possible to shorten the path to the 4th Circle by more than
half if he swallowed it. The pendant was like an à la carte dish. Then
Professor Vince told him the identity of the pendant.
“Roaring Flames is the name of this pendant.”
“Yes. Garcia, that idiot, used this artifact during the spar with
Indeed, it had been due to the power of the pendant. Theo nodded
unconsciously. This answered the question of how Garcia, a 3rd Circle
magician, had been able to use the 4th Circle Blaze Shell. It was
possible with the magic power of ‘Roaring Flames’.
However, his surprise didn’t end there.
“Now, take it.”
Professor Vince suddenly threw Roaring Flames at Theodore.
An artifact, which would be worth at least 100 gold and treasured by
magicians, was being thrown through the air. Theo raised his hands
reflexively and grabbed it.
Before Theo could ask anything, Vince said, “You won’t receive an
apology from the academy. However, you were attacked by this artifact. I
think this pendant, Roaring Flames, was sent as an apology by Viscount
“No, even so…”
Handing over an artifact like this as an apology… no one in the Meltor
Kingdom would do it. At the very least, Viscount Carter wasn’t known
for his wealth.
Theo knew this and wasn’t convinced, but Vince casually explained the
story behind the incident.
“Instead, Garcia will receive a one month suspension. I chose his
punishment without consulting you, so if you have any complaints, give
back the pendant and he will be expelled.”
“…I have no complaints, Professor!”
“Well, I thought so.”
As Theo was stunned by his sudden windfall, Vince smiled and picked up
his cup of coffee again.
No matter what punishment Garcia received, Theodore wouldn’t receive
any benefits. No, Garcia might hold a grudge if he received a severe
punishment. Whereas, accepting the Roaring Flames would give Theo a
‘Okay, it might be possible for me to become a 4th Circle magician
For a moment, there was a peaceful silence. Theo’s hands were tingling
because he wanted to use Appraisal straight away, while Vince closed his
eyes and savoured the smell of coffee. However, the silence between the
two of them was broken shortly afterwards by Vince’s voice.
“From here on, it will be my personal question.”
The inevitable checkmate had arrived. The relaxed tension was pulled
tightly like a rubber band, and Theo’s expression grew grim.
He lost the false sense of security Professor Vince had given him by
handing him the artifact, and a hypothetical dialogue of how this
conversation would go popped into his head. The atmosphere in the room
seemed to cool within a mere 10 seconds.
“I don’t doubt your capabilities. No, anyone who understands your
nature wouldn’t feel doubt. Haven’t I told you a few times already?
Theodore Miller, if you had a little more sensitivity, then you
would’ve been the top graduate three years ago.”
Theo’s expression didn’t soften even with the praise. Rather, it
became more tense. Theodore was afraid of that splendid reputation.
Nobody in the academy knew, but one person had guessed about Theodore’s
talent. That person was Professor Vince.
“However, that is the limit. There is no way to increase one’s
sensitivity, and I felt regret for you.”
Vince looked at him with sharp eyes.
“Since the winter break, you have changed. No, the word ‘change’ is
lacking. You have become completely different.”
It was a bit of a relief that no animosity was obviously visible. Theo
might have absorbed some of Alfred Bellontes’s talents and experience,
but he wasn’t a match for the Vince. Vince was a person who had been a
war magician for decades and was a powerful person with the 6th Circle in
sight. If Theo fought Vince 100 times, then Theo would die 100 times.
Fortunately, Vince was just questioning Theo and didn’t seem to have
any hostile feelings.
“It is okay if you don’t want to answer. You are sincere and not a
personally flawed student. I know you wouldn’t use a dirty method for
such a development.”
“But if you think of me as your teacher, I wonder if there is anything
I can do to help you.”
‘I want to teach you’ was the conclusion. At that moment, Theodor
Miller had a hunch.
‘Here, this is a crossroad.’
His life would change depending on which side he chose. Should he tell
Vince or should he hide it?
If he concealed it, then his days would continue like they were now. He
would continue eating books from the library and receive his diploma as
an elite student. No, would it really be like that?
There was a limit to how many books he could take from the library. Over
the past two months, Gluttony had already eaten over 100 books. He had
somehow concealed it by changing the layout of the collections or moving
the desk positions, but if someone looked closely, then it would soon be
However, if he had Professor Vince’s cooperation, he wouldn’t need to
take such risks.
‘No, that doesn’t matter.’
In the end, that was a secondary matter. He had to look at the essence of
What was the meaning of this crossroad?
Theo stared solemnly at Professor Vince. In retrospect, it was a simple
…Should be believe or not believe in Vince?
After a period of silence which was both long and short, Theo finally
made his decision.