A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 277

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 277. Collapse (3)



Artemis created Shadow Worlds in order to reshape the past. However, even if a Shadow World was cleared, reality was left unchanged. It only showed the best possible path for a given historical event. Desir had learned why Shadow Worlds were still being created, but why was the past not changing?




“After the collapse, the Artemis system was severely damaged. Not all of its components are functioning as intended.”




Even if Desir didn’t know every aspect of the Artemis system, he was able find the answer to his question.




“So the function of reproducing past historical events remains, but the power to reshape the past has been lost?”




Lunia nodded.




Desir spoke after a moment of thought.




“Then, is the erosion that occurs when a Shadow World is


unsuccessfully cleared also because of that?”




“Yes, that is right.”




‘So that’s what happened.’




Artemis had the ability to recreate past events, allowing humans to alter them under its guidance, and then implant the newly created scenario into reality.




However, no matter how brilliant the ancient human race was, it was impossible for them to clear every single Shadow World perfectly. They must have had the ability to retry or otherwise deal with Shadow Worlds that they failed.




Artemis was an artificial system that was driven by man to all extent and purposes. There must have been a function for the inevitably of failing a Shadow World. However, this function must have also been lost at the time of the biggest collapse, as was the function to actualize the changed history. Since then, failing to clear Shadow Worlds would now cause erosion.




It would have been better if Artemis had lost all function. At


least then, people would not have suffered under the Shadow Worlds.




The Artemis system was a powerful tool, but it had ultimately caused mankind’s downfall. It had no greater intelligence, only capable of recreating history in an attempt to aid humanity, unable to recognize the negative impact the system was having on the world.




‘I understand Skull Mask’s actions now.’




This was why Skull Mask could not bring his plan to fruition, even though he possessed an artifact that could directly access the Artemis system.




It would not have been possible to fully implement any plan without solving Artemis’s loss of functionality. And his solution must have been using those giant towers to replenish it somehow.




“Was this enough to answer your questions?”




“That’s enough.”





*Shwim*




When Desir answered with a nod, the surrounding scenery began to dissipate. In time, the surrounding landscape reverted back to the endless void of white space, just like what he saw upon first arriving here.




‘I’ve gotten a considerable amount of information from this.’




Desir had discovered the origins of the Shadow Worlds. And, he had a new goal.




‘Maybe we can get rid of the Shadow Worlds entirely.’




Until now, the entire human race had no choice but to watch this disaster helplessly because they had no idea why or how the Shadow Worlds occurred. But he finally found out the secret behind it all.




After all, the Shadow Worlds were created by the Artemis system. If only he could control or stop Artemis, he could


completely solve the problem caused by the appearance of Shadow Worlds.




And of those two methods, Desir thought he should take the latter.




Artemis was created to aid and develop mankind, but eventually threatened humanity and drove it to destruction. Unless they could tell when it would cause trouble again, the more certain option was to destroy it.




Above all, if such enormous power was to be abused, there would be no turning back.




‘Second and third Skull Masks may appear.’




The idea was solidified all the more because he had already seen the existence that had been destroyed using it.




But he could not put anything into action right away.




‘If I could control this… ’





If only the Artemis system could be controlled properly, it could be used to immense effect in helping mankind. In addition, it may also be possible to even use it to restore the eroded territory. Even though destroying the system was a straightforward choice, it was hard to give up all the boons reconstruction would bring.




If fixing the system was even possible.




‘For now, I should talk with Zod.’




It was not a matter that he could decide by himself. Desir decided to talk to Zod and decide on his course of action.




“Lunia, what am I supposed to do to get out of here?”




“You just need to think that you want to leave, and then you’ll return to the place you left the necklace.”




Desir nodded, and as he tried to go outside, he realized one thing.




“I never introduced myself. My name is Desir Arman. Lunia, you’ve been a great help.”




Lunia smiled gently and lifted the end of her skirt slightly.




“I look forward to seeing you again, Mr. Desir.”




“We’ll see you again soon.”




After all, he would need to come back in order to access Artemis, whether that was to destroy it or repair it.




Desir closed his eyes at the end of the farewell, and after a moment his body was enveloped in a dazzling light and disappeared.




Lunia stared at the place where Desir had disappeared for a long time.




* * *




“Zod, I need to talk to… ”




Desir’s words died in his mouth. The scene in front of him…




He had used the artifact while in his lab inside the tower, so he expected to reappear there. But the place where he opened his eyes betrayed his expectations: he was standing in front of a teleportation gate.




“What the hell is going on?”




A murmur came to Desir’s ear. When he turned his eyes, there were numerous magicians around him.




Desir, who recognized many of the people present, quickly realized that something had gone wrong.




The magicians of the tower were all terrified, and most of them were injured.




Most notable was the distinct feeling in the air, or rather, the


lack thereof. With this many powerful magicians gathered, he should have been able to feel a strong flow of mana, but the surroundings were no different than if they were ordinary people.




‘Was there a battle in the tower while I was gone?’




Desir, who could see the magicians countless injuries and exhaustion, had easily come to the most logical conclusion, but it did not seem plausible.




After the disappearance of Skull Mask, the Outsiders had finally been wiped out, and there was no other force worthy of starting a war.




The Magic Tower was where the greatest magicians on the continent gathered. Even if they could be defeated in direct combat, the Magic Tower was extremely secure and housed powerful weapons. Sieging it head-on was an act only a madman would consider.




But he could not think of any other possibility when faced with the groans and injuries of his fellow mages.


“You’re finally out!”




A man approached Desir. It was the Second Tower Master, Hephaestus.




He too was covered in wounds. There was a mixture of misery in his deeply sunken eyes.




Desir asked urgently.




“What the hell happened?”




To the question, Hepaestus handed something to Desir. It was the eyeball-shaped necklace.




“Why do you have… ”




“The tower has been attacked.”




Hephaestus’s expression was dead serious.



There was no reason for him to tell such a lie to Desir in the first place. As he guessed, the tower really had been attacked.




Desir looked around.




“Did the main tower fall?”




Hepaestus shook his head with a miserable look.




Impossible. It was hard enough to believe that someone had actually attacked the Altea tower, but they were defeated?




Desir’s confusion began to take a sinister form.




“Who the hell… ? No, more importantly, for what reason?!”




His expression was distorted.




“Why didn’t you call me!”



Desir had been in the artifact for less than an hour.




A mere hour.




Desir’s sanity was falling apart at the seams, his rational thoughts replaced by an uncontrollable flurry of emotion. Embarrassment, over the complete failure of their defenses; confusion, because there should be no one capable of attacking them; anger, since he had been happily wasting away, giddy as a schoolgirl over discovering long-lost history, all while hell was breaking loose. He was just inside the artifact, mere seconds away. He could have stopped it all.




“By the time we realized what had happened, we had already lost control. That’s why the Tower Master said… ”




Hepaestus stopped talking as his face contorted into a glare, traces of embarrassment and distress shimmering just beneath the surface.




The expression was perplexing enough that it knocked Desir out of his downward spiral. After a brief moment, Desir realized the cause.




He had not seen him anywhere.




There was no sign of Zod to be found.




That meant only one thing.




Desir’s gaze turned to the teleportation gate, striding towards it without hesitation.




“No, Mr. Desir! Are you going back to the Tower now?”




Hephaestus hurried to block Desir’s path.




Desir shoved him aside, his eyes laden with emptiness, his pupils utterly devoid of light. Eyes deep like an abyss, eyes that threatened to suck the soul out of anyone foolish enough to gaze into them.




“Get out of the way.”


Still, Hephaestus would not give up. He collected himself, and began to move towards Desir, but he could not do anything. Desir gathered an unbelievable amount of mana into an array in front of him.




*Kii-ying*




Teleportation gates boasted the most complicated security spells ever devised, several of them arranged by the Great Sage himself. Wide-range teleportation magic was extremely powerful, and dangerous in the wrong hands, so access was heavily restricted and powerful spells guarded their use from anyone other than those chosen. Desir inverted it within a second.




Control of the gate in hand, Desir immediately changed the coordinates to the Magic Tower’s main branch.






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