It was because the sound of Gluttony calling him, seemingly from the depths of an abyss, had caused him to stiffen. He loosened up his rigid neck.
Theo had to say something, but his lips wouldn't open. Fortunately, the voice was there to remind him.
[The greedy grimoire, Gluttony, has filled its hunger. Gluttony's intelligence has been restored temporarily. It is willing to repay the owner who filled its stomach.]
[Gluttony's current state is incomplete. Please provide it plenty of food in the future to restore its performance. Gluttony will fall into a deep sleep except when asking for food. It will answer one question immediately after it feels full. The wisdom of the old grimoire, Gluttony, is truly vast.]
[Please ask your question before Gluttony goes to sleep.]
The explanation was verbose, but the conclusion was simple. One question and answer… It meant he would receive one answer to one question.
According to the description from the strange voice, Gluttony was a very ancient grimoire. It must of spent years swallowing books, so the knowledge it had would be enormous. Even if it had only eaten one book a day, that would be over 300 books in a year. If all the books were related to magic, then the value truly couldn't be measured.
For magicians seeking endless wisdom, the value of this conversation might be greater than the heart of a dragon.
'What question should I ask?'
He didn't have much time to worry about it. This little guy only opened its eyes for a moment because it was hungry, but it would soon fall into a deep sleep again. Theo didn't know how long it would take, but he knew it wouldn't be long.
What should be asked and what answers would be sought? Theo looked within himself.
'I have to ask something that will help me now.'
To Theo, who had just become a 2nd Circle master, the knowledge of ancient magic was meaningless. Questions about hidden treasures and the ability to find them were separate things.
There was an old tale which told how being overly greedy would invite disaster. Theo wasn't going to be an idiot like those people. If so, the questions he could ask now were fixed.
"I will ask a question."
Gluttony responded briefly,
-What, I wonder?
The voice was still creepy, but he could withstand it better the second time compared to the first. Theo still couldn't stop the creepy feeling from running down his spine, but he managed to open his mouth somehow.
"Gluttony, I want to ask for information about you. Let me know what type of grimoire you are."
There was silence for a moment. Was it an unexpected question?
Theo didn't know. He just felt that the voice became clearer.
It agreed to answer his question.
-However, to understand me, your insight… narrow, poor. Language, convey, can't.
Theo frowned at the words. The grimoire couldn't convey it in language? It was the same as saying it couldn't answer the question, and the reason was because Theo's insight was narrow and poor. Theo had never fallen behind when it came to his brain, yet he couldn't reach the ancient grimoire's standards.
However, Gluttony's words didn't stop there.
–I, visualize, information. Human, owner, show, like it.
–This, it is the feeling.
It said to him.
As soon as the dialogue was over, odd characters flowed from the palm of his left hand to Theo's head. There were numbers, letters, and language concepts. He felt dizzy and understood why Gluttony couldn't communicate it through language. It was a huge behemoth which defied common sense.
It wasn't a book nor a magic spell. This was the fragment of an existence which mocked the world. The best magicians living today wouldn't be able to produce it. Even Theo, who had accepted the information about Gluttony, could barely explain it.
Yes, Theo only saw a vague form.
[Grimoire "Gluttony"/ F Rank]
[Effects: elemental affinity increases by 1p; magic sensitivity +10; calibration and creation of magic circles; 'Lightning Bolt' acquired; and increased proficiency in 'Shield'.
* Incomplete state. Most of the functions are sealed.
* Once a day, it will wake up to relieve its hunger.
* Immediately after relieving its hunger, it will answer one question.
* The abilities it feed on will be given to its owner.
* Extracts an essence from eaten books or items. The higher the owner's understanding, the greater the efficiency.]
Indeed, it was an easy-to-understand description. Perhaps it had been frequently used by humans before entering Theo's hands. Otherwise, it would be difficult to summarize the information into such clear words.
As Theo went over the information in his head several times, Gluttony yawned.
-Hrmm…then, I answered…
Gluttony's voice drifted off at the end until it could no longer be heard. The tongue and hole disappeared.
Theo looked down at his left hand with a blank expression. There were no traces left of the five books it had swallowed. The knowledge remained in his head, and the unfamiliar magic power proved that this was real.
A dry laugh emerged from somewhere. He didn't realize where until his dry lips touched. Theodore Miller… The sound was coming from his own mouth.
This was the same library, a place to where he fled from the helpless reality which despised him. How could he have known he would find something amazing here?
'I can graduate. No, graduating isn't a problem now. There will be more chances!'
Theo had a good head, but was a dunce at magic. He absorbed knowledge like he was pouring water into a bottomless pit. Theo understood that it meant nothing, but he hadn't given up. No one else had noticed his talent except for Professor Vince. Even Professor Vince's efforts was like a pile of leaves. Yet, a bud had now sprouted from those dead leaves…
[The higher the owner's understanding, the greater the efficiency.]
The meaning of this brief sentence was something the current Theo couldn't even guess. This wasn't just memorizing books or formulas. Every time notes filled with his handwriting piled up, wisdom began increasing in his brain.
The Grimoire itself had selected its owner. It wasn't a coincidence that Theodore, who craved knowledge more than anyone else, had been the one to find it.
A heavy bell broke the silence. Theo looked reflexively at the clock in a corner of the library. The clock hands were pointing straight up. It was already time for the dormitory to be locked. He had discovered Gluttony around 10 o'clock, so quite some time had passed.
'I can't sleep in my bed… but well, I feel good.'
His magic power was boiling up from excitement. Right now, Theo was confident he could succeed in any 2nd Circle magic. His sensitivity had only increased slightly, but this feeling of satisfaction was frightening.
Theo once again looked at Gluttony's information. There was a brief mention of the change in his sensitivity.
'Mana sensitivity +10.'
It wasn't a big number because it said there was only a slight increase. Still, what if this 10 increased to 20, 30 or 100? It might take some time, maybe a few decades… but he could fulfill it.
"…Okay, I will read more books."
Theo wanted to use magic, but the library wasn't a place to use it. If he accidentally set fire to something, he didn't know what punishment he would receive from the professors. It was necessary to choose books for Gluttony in advance, and that would be more useful than napping in his seat.
Theo moved with excitement in his steps. The books which had been like a pie in the sky now seemed like treasure chests placed right in front of him.
The existence of the repeater letter in the outer pocket of his coat was already long forgotten. Now that his long-awaited dream was right before him, Theo had no time to think about dropping out of school.
The greedy grimoire, Gluttony…
This was its first meeting with Theodore Miller.