[A Few Moments Earlier]
Two people stood opposite each other—enemies in their own right. One had short pitch-black hair, while the other donned one with a contrasting color and length.
"Are you really sure you want to fight me? It's a little lopsided, in my opinion." The one who spoke was the man with white hair, Elrich Lendertwale.
Also known as the strongest Grand Mage.
"I'm not really into bullying. It's a waste of time and energy." He added, staring at the one who was supposed to be his opponent.
'Lord Jared praises him a lot, especially his intelligence. However, when it comes to a Magic Battle, he'll still come out inferiror.' Elrich thought, narrowing his gaze on Neron.
In contrast to the talkative Elrich, Neron simply stood still and listened to all that was being spouted. His deadpan face showed no emotion, and it even appeared he was bored of the whole thing.
"Not going to say anything, huh? Alright then. Let's get starte—"
"Tell me something…" Neron's calm voice suddenly pierced the tense environment. "... What's so great about Magic?"
For a moment, the question was recieved without a response. It was only greeted with a confused stare from Elrich.
"What the hell are you talking about?" He asked.
"I mean, what is so great about this thing you call Magic? You sold your basic rights and became a subordinate to Jared because you wanted to expand your reach in Magic. You partook in many atrocities, also for that goal. Magic is a driving force that propels you to do the unthinkable. But, I ask you… what is so great about it?"
Elrich still expressed bewilderment at Neron's question. No one had ever asked him that question, neither did they need to.
What kind of person would ask such a foolish question? To him, it was like someone asking "What's so great about water?"
Wasn't that just ridiculous?
"To be honest, I think I would prefer a world without Magic."
"Hahaha! Now you're just spouting nonsense! What kind of person talks like this? Aren't you even a Magic Engineer? A Scholar?" Elrich laughed, almost in mockery of what Neron said.
"Is that so? Yeah, maybe you're right. Maybe I'm being a hypocrite…" A smile slowly formed on Neron's face as he stared at Elrich. "Maybe, maybe not."
"Should you really be wasting time like this? Don't you want to stop the generator?" Elrich asked.
"I don't need to. It'll be fine." Neron added, is smile growing wider. "It seems I asked you a useless question. In that case, just ignore what I just said."
"Seems like you're well aware. It was a stupid quesition. What's so great about Magic? Coming from an Inept like you? I suppose you wouldn't be able to understand the thrill of doing something like thissssss!"
In an instant, twin flashes of lightning appeared on both Elrich's hands, and he pointed them at Neron.
The bursts of whitish blue energy charged toward him, cackling loudly in their wake.
Almost as soon as the bright sparks got to Neron, they stopped, spreading around an invisible surface, before finally fizzling out.
"H-huh?" Elrich muttered.
"Don't look so surprised. You said it yourself. I'm an inventor. Even right now, my body is coated with a lot of Items I made." Neron responded with a shrug.
"Primulus Ores have a special property that repels electrical currents. By fusing them with other Prismatic Ores, and gemstones, I can create a natural elemental resistance barrier. Of course, improving concentration and creating multiple resonating reactions make the repulsion fields much more intense. You could try another Spell and see how it goes."
"It'll be the same result, though. Ah, unless you use a Spell that's about 7, but something tells me you can't."
"H-how did you…?"
"By the way, you're yet to prove my question foolish, you know? I mean… what's so great about Magic, Elrich?"
The Grand Mage began gritting his teeth at this point. He had spent so much time studying and improving his Magic, but his specialty was Elemental Magic.
Did Neron account fo this before deciding to face him?
"I will give credit where it is due. Your intelligence was not exaggerated." Elrich muttered. "However, this proves nothing."
With a snap of his fingers, Elrich caused a dark red orb to appear. It gleamed brightly, but something murky seemed to dwell within.
Something detestably dirty.
"Did you sacrifice living beings to make that Blood Stone? Looking at how large it is, you must have consumed a lot."
"Oh, this isn't mine. It was a goft from Lord Jared. It's the result of the Elven Massacre all those years ago.
Neron's eyes twitched the moment he heard that.
"Oh, don't look at me like that. Do you think I would refuse such a gift? You know how immensely powerful Blood Stones are, don't you? The condensed Mana Particles of those who died, all converging to form a huge Mana Amplifier. It's the ultimate tool for a Mage! Even those who can't properly use Magic, should be able to use it with this. Of course, it does nothing to help Inepts like you."
A Blood Stone could only serve as a Supplimentary Mana Core, but not an actual one. If used right, even the least adept human could be able to use the power of Magic to its full potential, but those who didn't have any ability at all remained helpless.
"It's the greatest Magic Item in the wor—"
"It's disgusting." Neron spoke, his voice thick with something else this time.
No longer did it contain a lackluster energy, and no longer was his expression deadpan. His tone had gone through a drastic change, and the current look in his eyes expressed something that made Elrich shiver down to his bones.
"So this is your answer, Elrich?"
Neron's hair began to turn white, and sparks of energy danced around him. The intensity of the power forced Elrich to kneel, trembling fervently as the energy kept rising.
"This is how great Magic is?"
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- SPELLCRAFT: Reincarnation Of A Magic Scholar
- Chapter 867 Neron Alter [Pt 1]