A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 276

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 276. Collapse (2)



“Welcome to Access.”




It was a familiar voice. There was no way he did not know the voice that had heard over and over again.




It was the same voice as the alarm sound heard when entering Shadow Worlds.




‘But something… is different.”




The tone was clearly the same, but there was a difference. If the voice he heard before could be considered dull, then he could feel overwhelming vitality coming from it now.




He wandered around the empty white space and soon identified the source of the voice.




A girl with hair long enough that it brushed the floor was staring at him.



Desir noticed at a glance that the girl was not an ordinary human being.




Her appearance was by no means ordinary. Tens of thousands of circuits were reflected over the fabric of her black dress, and above all, her neck and calves that were revealed were heavily inscribed with letters presumed to be runes.




Desir cautiously threw a question at this being.




“Who are you, and what is this place here?”




The girl spoke in a rather lively voice.




“I’m Lunia, Artemis’s assistant. This is a virtual space created to access the system, and you can also access Lunia’s stored information.”




Artemis’s assistant. Access the system. Stored information.




The words did not make much sense, but Desir could see that


this artifact had a lot more to it than he initially thought.




He decided to grasp the incomprehensible things one by one.




“What is the system, and what do you mean this place was made to access it??”




Artemis. This was the name of the religious group to which Priscilla, revered as a Saint, belonged, and the name of the Goddess that they believed in.




Desir questioned the words “system and connection” that he knew was not associated with Artemis.




“Artificial Reality Timespaces for Endlessly Maintaining the Ideal Scenario. Commonly known as Artemis (A.R.T.E.M.I.S.) systems.”




“What?”




The rapid-fire answer left Desir even more confused.



“Artemis systems are an artificial intelligence, capable of reproducing the past and allowing those that enter the opportunity to make the changes necessary for the prosperity of all intelligent life. Accessing the system means gaining the authority to change history.”




Desir’s eyes were momentarily struck with consternation.




“Reproducing the past and turning it into a correct one… ?”




Reproducing history. Obviously, this was related to the Shadow Worlds, and what Lunia was saying was not new to Desir. Using Shadow Worlds to reshape history…




‘That was Skull Masks goal.’




Desir looked at Lunia in front of him. The artifact that he now operated was an artifact should have been single handedly capable of bringing Skull Mask’s plan to fruition.




That meant only one thing.


“Is this artifact central to Skull Mask’s plan itself?”




Desir expected that he would be able to get information from Lunia. He had wanted to get more from Skull Mask, but that unfortunately was not possible after his death.




“Lunia, do you also have information on whether a natural reproduction of the past occurs in the present era?”




Skull Mask had succeeded in artificially creating Shadow Worlds, but normally, Shadow Worlds are a natural disaster that occur every year at the same time. Up until now, no one had figured out why this was the case.




It was now clear that Skull Mask had used this artifact to obtain information about the existing Shadow Worlds in order to artificially create his own versions of them.




If Desir could get a hold of that information, it might be possible to prevent future Shadow Worlds from plaguing the world. He couldn’t hide his excitement at the thought of suddenly obtaining such unexpected information.


“… … … ?”




But no matter how long he waited, there was no answer.




Lunia, who has been answering questions so far, chewed her lips and hesitated, before belatedly answering.




“I believe that I have no choice but to implement the history reproduction function to provide answers to that question. I will now utilize Historical Reproduction. Please do not be alarmed by the changes to our environment.”




As soon as Lunia finished speaking, the landscape began to appear on-top of this space that had, up until then, been an endless void of white.




* * *




The view that Desir was confronted with was a myriad of bright colors. It was a landscape that was very familiar to Desir.




Frey Noble.





What he saw was the city in its original form. It was dazzlingly beautiful and clear, totally unlike the destroyed version from his previous life.




This was the place where they defeated the Dragon of Destruction. It was certainly Frey Noble.




“This is an age now long gone from the memory of mankind. The human race of that time enjoyed abundance and prosperity while living in harmony with various species.”




The city before Desir was one that was hundreds of years more advanced that the civilization of today, perhaps even thousands. Among the citizens were other creatures, mysterious in ways Desir could not quite place. Something about them was unnatural, but they certainly were not human.




“The reason why their civilization has developed this much is because of their power to reform history, the Artemis system.”




‘I expected it, but it’s amazing to see it like this.’


When Desir saw Frey Noble in the Shadow Labyrinth in his previous life, he had assumed that there would be an era of great civilization in ancient times.




Though he knew it must have existed, seeing it in person was something else altogether.




That was not the only thing that surprised him though.




‘And I didn’t know that crazy idea started that long ago… ’




Creating and using artificial Shadow Worlds to reorganize history did not originate with Skull Mask.




“They used the Artemis system to achieve everything they wanted. By correcting past mistakes, they made the history that they wanted, and as a result, they were able to achieve a highly developed civilization.”




There is no human being who can always make the right choice. Everyone makes mistakes, fails and tries to succeed using their growth as a stepping stone.



But such efforts were not necessary if the past could be changed.




You could make mistakes and you could then make those mistakes disappear.




Their mistakes were corrected. This was why they could reach such heights.




“But how do they know which future is right or wrong?”




It was pointless to reform history if it was not judged properly.




“Artemis.”




Lunia answered.




“While Artemis allows the reshaping of history, at the same time it draws and guides the intelligent species to the most ideal future, taking into account the near-infinite number of


variables, including the current number and societal status of intelligent life and future technological advances.”




To derive and guide.




Recalling the numerous Shadow Worlds he had completed, Desir realized that the quests given in the Shadow Worlds were ultimately the best result for humanity every time. This was the power of the system called Artemis.




“Does this mean that the Goddess Artemis, whom Skull Mask spoke of, is the judge?”




Desir was looking at the sight presented to him while his forehead creased, and soon realized one thing.




“I know why you’re showing this to me. The Artemis system has something to do with the indiscriminate appearance of the past in our world, doesn’t it?”




“Yes, the reenactment of human history now occurring every year in the world is due to the Artemis system.”



Only then did Desir know why Lunia struggled to answer his question.




‘The premise of the question itself was wrong.’




In short, all Shadow Worlds occurred under the control of the Artemis system, and “naturally occurring” Shadow Worlds did not exist at all.




But surely there was a difference.




“There’s something I don’t understand.”




Desir arranged his thoughts before continuing.




“The reenactment of Artemis’ history is to reshape the past. But there has never been a case of such a result from Shadow Worlds influencing the present era. Why is that?”




“Because the Artemis system has suffered significant functional damage.”




*Boom*




The scenery before him radically changed.




A huge explosion and shockwave followed along with the screams of countless people. The highly civilized city collapsed in a moment and began to change into the barren hellscape that Desir had originally remembered.




Was it Artemis’s error? Or did God really exist to punish their arrogance?




No one knew. Not even Artemis.




“They thought they had achieved what they had long sought, reaching the realm of God. This illusion was the beginning of all the problems.”




Several landscapes passed before Desir’s eyes.


‘Dadenewt.’




The golden sea turned black, and magma began rising to the surface.




The ground was aflame; the sky was covered with ash.




‘The Beast of Revelation.’




A flash of light covered the world, and lightning struck the ground. Everything that existed on the ground turned to ashes without leaving a trace.




In addition, various landscapes passed by, and different monsters appeared in the landscape. They were all monsters that existed in Desir’s memory.




And among them was a particularly eye-catching monster.




“Napolitan, the Dragon of Destruction… !”


The final boss of the Shadow Labyrinth. The Meteor-Rank Dragon of Destruction, Bhromier Napolitan.




The giant dragon destroyed mankind with a torrent of draconic spells that could not be fought back with the power of mankind.




A single appearance from any one of these would spell the end for mankind, but dozens of such monsters appeared at the same time and began to attack humanity.




“Artemis tried to lead everyone to the best future. But no matter what choice they make, no matter how hard they struggle, the consequences of the destruction of their civilization have not changed.”




It was impossible to prevent the fall of civilization. At last, even Frey Noble, the final stronghold of mankind, collapsed, and civilization, which boasted that it had reached the realm of God, was literally reduced to ashes and scattered.




“The Artemis system recorded this as the ‘biggest collapse point of humanity’.”


The landscape continued to change, never ending.




“Civilization has been destroyed, but a small number of humans have sought a way to survive.”




Civilizations had risen from the ashes and eventually fell and returned to dust, but there were always people who survived. After the monsters disappeared, these survivors moved to take back the shining era they had achieved.




Desir could find a familiar face among them. He spotted Skull Mask.




‘So that was his story… ’




The ideal that Skull Mask talked about. That was exactly what it meant from the perspective of people from his era.




“The creatures that destroyed civilization disappeared, and mankind regained peace. But there was one problem.”




Problem. Desir sensed that this was the answer to his


question.




“Artemis was damaged, and now it’s stuck in a loop. It’s continually repeating its calculations, trying to reach a future that is now impossible.”




No matter how hard it calculates to avoid that biggest collapse, it is unable to create a future that does not exist.




But Artemis did not stop. Even now, it continues to recreate the past, trying to create a new series of events capable of bringing new possibilities, all to find a single future for a civilization that is long dead.




And that was the identity of the Shadow Worlds that appear in the world.




* * *




Zod put down his teacup, his face wrapped in a playful smile. The eyeball-shaped necklace around his neck was shedding a faint tear.



“He must be quite embarrassed by now.”




Zod did not have difficulty understanding Desir’s feelings. Because he was also quite shocked after sharing the same experience.




‘It’s going to be a delightful debate.’




Discuss the missing history, knowledge that had been left completely unrecorded.




It would have been a perfect pleasure for a magician who regarded knowledge as happiness.




Someone knocked on the door of the lab while he was laughing with anticipation.




Zod only knew one person who knocked like that.




“Oh, it’s you. Come in.”


Zod welcomed the man who came in with a bright light.




“What makes you drop in out of the blue? If you had contacted me in advance, I would have handled everything… ”




Zod’s expression suddenly hardened.




Something was strange. There was no way that person had come here, and there was no report that they were going to arrive.




But the moment he made the realization, it was too late. Zod tried to move, but the presence in front of him was a step ahead.






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