The Book Eating Magician - chapter-357
Tae Rang, the man who had introduced himself as a daoist, took a deep
breath and told a long story.
It had been a month ago.
The great empire and middle kingdom occupied more than half the East
Continent, so the speed of transmitting news was slow. Even an express
horse would take several months to reach one end of the kingdom to the
other, so it had been inevitable.
There were 256 castles that ruled the kingdom, and eight princes reigned
over the lords. This feudal style of governance contributed to the
slowing down of communication.
There were institutions like the magic towers, but the situation was
different from the Western Continent where magic power and by-products
were spread widely throughout the continent. The East Continent handled
the problem of sending and receiving information using homing pigeons.
“The supreme justice read the heavens and said that a disaster would
begin from the capital city.”
Theodore also had the ability to read the heavens, but he urged the
daoist to continue.
“That night, the heavenly star was red, and the people in the middle
kingdom started to turn into creatures, regardless of their identity,
sex, and age.”
It was literally a nightmare.
A prince of the central kingdom had claimed that the kingdom’s
population had already reached one billion people. The lords of each
province had counted a significant number, and it was clearly over 100
million. What if all these people turned into monsters? Even half of it
would be 50 million, and half of that would be 25 million.
A person who couldn’t handle a single wild dog wouldn’t be able to
kill a top warrior who had turned into a monster. This catastrophe
threatened not just the empire but also the material world.
‘No, the monsters devoured each other, and the survivors protected
themselves, like this village. Even so, the number was likely to be
reduced considerably.’ Unlike the first time, Theodore heard about the
situation and was able to calmly measure the level of the disaster. ‘I
haven’t figured out why, but the kingdom is under the influence of the
Receptacle of Solitude. When the monsters eat each other, they fill their
stomachs, but there is no sign of their power increasing. There is no one
to do farming or other matters, so the survivors won’t be able to last
a year without sacrificing something.’
In some ways, it was the same with beasts. They had physical abilities
several times stronger than that of ordinary humans, and their
intelligence was enough to deceive hunters. A tiger or a bear couldn’t
be anything other than a predator in the ecosystem.
Then what was a predator’s ‘nemesis?’ Something on the same level
as a predator? A quick prey that couldn’t be caught? No, the word
‘nemesis’ wasn’t to that extent. A nemesis was something that
couldn’t be overcome. It was an empty stomach.
An environment in which all prey disappeared was deadly to predators, and
these monsters were no exception. Once the monsters ran out of humans,
wild animals, and wild birds, they would eat their own kind, and the
numbers would be reduced.
Theodore got all these answers, but there was one problem left. “…The
survivors need to defend themselves so that the monsters can’t fill
Tae Rang’s eyes widened at Theodore’s words. “Y-You are saying the
same thing as the supreme justice. I only said a few words so how…?”
“It is obvious when calmly looking at the situation,” Theodore said.
Then while ignoring Tae Rang’s eyes which were filled with admiration,
Theodore asked about his colleagues who had come ahead of him, “Rather,
my colleagues should’ve stopped in this village before me. Did you
borrow the strength of those two people?”
“Ah, I’ll explain from here!” Lee Seol spoke on behalf of Tae Rang,
who was too busy admiring Theodore. “If you are talking about Theo’s
wife and the silver-haired girl, they went to help Hyungkang Castle 300
kilometers to the northwest.”
“Yes! The residents of the castle have changed into monsters. But since
there is an outstanding master present, there wasn’t any serious
damage. All the nearby survives gathered in Hyungkang Castle along with a
judiciary of the royal family.”
As the strongest empire on the East Continent, the lords were competent.
The number of monsters that were changed might’ve been small at first,
but it wasn’t easy to defend the castle and clam the confused people.
However, if there was a master level shaman present, then the castle
should be able to have defenses that wouldn’t be easily surpassed.
Nevertheless, there was one reason why extra power was needed.
‘The mutant monsters have master level mana.’ Thinking about it
again, Theodore found it strange. The power of a monster shouldn’t
change that much after the transformation.
According to the judiciary, there was little difference between a strong
warrior and a monster. Then there must be a reason why the mutation was
-User, Gluttony spoke as he came to this conclusion, -I am certain that I
know the truth of this phenomenon.
* * *
After Tae Rang finished his story, Theodore asked for understanding from
Aquilo and was left alone in a room without anyone else. Theodore
confirmed that there was no one around with his senses and a
transcendent’s magic. Then he sat in a chair and spoke, “Start.”
Gluttony replied like it had been waiting, -First, this is caused by Lust.
“I guessed. I wasn’t sure until you confirmed it.”
-I was the same. I realized the nature of this phenomenon after receiving
a clue from User’s reasoning, Gluttony continued in an excited voice.
-Why did the mutations in shamanism occur? Why did the ability of an
individual become so different and why is it irrelevant to their life
before the change? The key to this question is Lust’s struggle.
-That’s right. It has to do with something you did. It is a little
different but similar to the butterfly effect.
‘The butterfly effect?’ Theodore made a confused expression, but
Gluttony didn’t explain.
Gluttony raised its voice and exclaimed cheerfully, -Sloth! Prometheus’
arrangement that you performed set fire to Lust. That is what caused this
“Crazy!” Theodore made a bug-eyed expression as he realized
everything in an instant.
Gluttony’s words were right.
By expelling Sloth, the mana concentration of the world would decline
significantly after centuries. It was a future that couldn’t be
reversed and had struck Lust with a thunderbolt across the ocean. The
decline in mana concentration would interfere with the conception of an
upper species, blocking the purpose of her existence.
-Thus, Lust started the last chapter. How many children has she given
birth to on the East Continent for over a thousand years and how many
descendants did they give birth to? Lust has turned on the potential
latent in those who inherited her bloodline!
“That is why they turned into monsters?”
-Perhaps. User, don’t you know better than anyone the appearance of
monsters? They aren’t monsters but remnants of the parent species.
Ulfheðnar, Arv, Vulcan… They were failures who disappointed Lust.
Gluttony’s explanation was clear, accurate, and cruel enough to not
leave any doubts.
Theodore wasn’t responsible, but he played a role in this catastrophe.
The plan to expel Sloth and lower the mana concentration of the world had
all come from the god who looked ahead to the future.
Theodore let go of his last protests. “I see.”
He wasn’t swayed by guilt and looked at the reality in front of him.
“The mutation comes from the blood of the upper species flowing in
their veins. She triggered all the blood relatives in an attempt to draw
out a winner, and the monsters are just failures who didn’t become an
“I don’t understand the method of throwing everything into an
unlikely possibility, but it is a grimoire.” Theodore’s head was cold
like the liquid in his brain had been turned into ice water.
“…Let’s assume that at least one million people inherited Lust’s
blood. Is there the possibility of a winner appearing among them?”
-Well, I can’t calculate it with my ability.
“Hrmm, I guess it is more like gambling than speculation.” However,
Theodore’s eyes gleamed. “Can you answer my question, Seimei?”
It was a name that popped up without any context, but no one wondered
about it. Gluttony was silent, and no one spoke for a while. Theodore
waited a few more seconds before glancing at his left hand. It was a
silent demonstration that Theodore would call him using the user’s
[…Ah. Were you waiting for me to comment?] Sure enough, the genderless
voice was Seimei’s soul rising to the surface of his consciousness.
“Haven’t I been waiting for a while? I crossed the wall as you stated
in your advice. Now that I am a transcendent, you should be able to
confide in me. Am I right?”
“The reason you told me not to approach the capital must have something
to do with this grimoire.”
As usual, Theodore waited for Seimei to speak on his own. However, Seimei
was silent for a few moments. Seeming to sense Theodore’s determination
in his words and gaze, Seimei withdrew his hesitation. [I understand.
I’ll tell you everything that remains in my memories.]
Theodore’s eyes dimmed, and a person who looked gender neutral appeared
in his mind. The person was dressed in white and red, and he had ebony
hair and golden eyes. This was the appearance of Abe no Seimei, the
strongest onmyōji in Japan.
Seimei greeted Theodore with a blank expression. [Now, I will start from
Despite this being a disturbing story for him, Seimei’s determination
didn’t waver. Theodore listened as the old shaman confessed the truth
that no one else knew.
[It is as you guessed. I am the child of a yokai and Lust—a person who
is a descendant of the white and golden nine-tailed fox, and is neither a
human nor yokai.]
He was a half-man, half-yokai. Originally, it was something that
shouldn’t be possible. Seimei was an upper species that had been
created using Lust’s power.
It was far short of her ultimate goal, but Seimei was a monster who could
compete with a dragon when fully grown. Thus, Lust had to raise Seimei
well and use him to protect her. Unlike her other failures, she had
planned to keep him and even imitated a maternal figure.
However, a problem had occurred in an unexpected place.
[My father saved me.] Seimei smiled as he recalled the proud memory. [Was
it because a nine-tailed fox was attracted to a transcendent body or my
father’s great paternal instinct? I still don’t know. Personally, I
hope it was the latter.]
“Thanks to him, you escaped from Lust’s grasp.”
[Well, that is what happened. You should roughly know what happened next.
I hid in Japan and walked the path of a shaman, reaching the level of a
transcendent. I instinctively knew that I couldn’t work for my mother.]
Despite being born from a wicked yokai and a grimoire, Abe no Seimei’s
nature was just and good. He couldn’t stand injustice and rescued the
At that time, Japan was a small place consisting of several villagers,
rather than a kingdom. It was the advent of the onmyōjis, led by Seimei.
After a century of hard work and struggles, he settled in Japan with his
successor and completed his organization.
[I thought I could win.]
Lust exercised absolute power over her bloodline, but she couldn’t
interfere with a transcendent who had been removed from the framework of
cause and effect. Abe no Seimei had crossed the border with that
conviction. He had passed through the lands of the empire, defeating
everyone who went against him and entered the capital. Seimei had become
incomparable from when he escaped from the empire, and he wanted to
destroy his mother.
After revealing all nine of his tails, he had called down a meteor shower
to hit the imperial palace in the heart of the capital. Then he was
[…It was my first and last mistake.]
Seimei erased the smile on his lips.