Chapter 50 - Eyelids (22)

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“….Professor?”

Even after saying his name, Rakshasha could sense a strange difference with this person. The person who wrapped up and hid the man in the cocoon was herself, so there was no way it could be someone else. What was it? Why did the same person in front of her feel so foreign?

‘No, one thing did change.’

Eyes. His eyes, which always had a certain playful glint, no matter how serious the situation, were now similar to those of an insect.

The first one to break this odd standoff was Isaac, who had been watching this situation with great interest.

“Professor. Did you just call that monster Professor?”

’….Darn it.’

She got caught off guard and made a mistake. There must have been a reason why Professor was hiding his name.

On the still mask of a face Isaac had on, a small slit spread across his face as if cut with a knife. With his eyes still trained on the situation and only his lips making a curl, his expression truly looked like that of a madman.

“Professor… Professor, you say…. Right. I had a test subject with that name. That one especially left an impression on me. I remember it now. That thing…. That was how he looked like when he was first captured.”

Grumble! Krg-grumble!

Isaac’s hands were shaking from excitement. The mage clasped his hands together as if praying. The mana core floating behind him started to boil up as if it were reflecting the current condition of its user.

“You mutes….. always exceed my expectations. So that monster was not produced by the Queen… but created by me? What exactly changed it? It’s still using the name ‘Professor,’ so did it retain its memories from when it was human? Is it still following the commands of the Queen? Or does it have its own will? Then, what’s actually inside it right now? Is it you, Professor? Answer me!”

Vwoooom—

From his clasped hands, he extended his middle and pinky fingers and folded his thumb at the first joint. The meanings he engraved on each finger solidified Isaac’s image. The magic he gained through his sixth awakening. Isaac saw it. In his dream, he saw the waves of fate sweeping away the future of humanity into oblivion. Through the repetitive nightmares, Isaac finally decided. Since no one else was awakened, he, who had been awakened, needed to save humanity. Even if most of the people died and lost their original form, it would be better than what he saw in his dreams!

“I will lead humanity to a new stage through your body!”

When Isaac opened his clasped hands, the water from the mana core came crashing out like an endless waterfall.

Level 6 Origin Spell [Isaac Mandalius’s Sinking Wave]

“Cough!”

“M-Master….! Gaargh!”

The mages that were acting as Isaac’s vessel for the mana within the void stone’s field were now collapsing to the ground, coughing up blood, unable to handle the immense amount of mana.

In return for that blood, Isaac now had free reign over the large mass of mana, which was now spreading across the entire laboratory as a sentient hazard.

“Wow. That’s water? It isn’t as pretty as I heard it was.”

‘Level 6 magic. I…. might actually die here.’

Rakshasha conflicted internally. If she used all of her power here, then she would be able to hold it off to an extent, but she would collapse from exhaustion right away. Is the thing in front of her really the Professor she knew? Can she consider the being in front of her an ally?

“Water….. should I try touching it? It looks dangerous—”

With a string in one hand and a dagger in another, Rakshasha faced Professor and took a deep breath before asking…

“Who…… are you?”

“W-Woah! F-Female human!”

Professor, no, the ‘thing’ that looked like Professor jumped back in surprise, as if it had just now seen Rakshasha there.

“D-Do not misunderstand this. It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just……. Vessel’s sleeping right now….”

“We don’t have time! Answer me!”

Craaaaash!

There was no more time to spare. She didn’t know exactly what magic it was, but that water was able to cut even the strong Elder Spider’s string into pieces by just touching it.

“Give me a second. I’m trying to think. Everyone’s been asking me exactly what I am, but that’s a really philosophical question. You saved the vessel, so I’ll save you. So just stay calm and wait for a moment. There’s no need to rush.”

“There’s…. no need to rush..?”

The thing blocked Rakshasha with its arm as she tried to run forward and nodded. Its attention was currently occupied with something other than the dangerous magic that was threatening the two people’s lives.

Name. An independent being has a proper noun they were called by. Of course, he was only half of an individual since he only had a consciousness, but he still needed a name to introduce himself when he was out like this.

‘Shadow? Too cliché. Monster? Nah. Name……. Something I want someone to call me by….’

Within the deep unconsciousness of Professor’s mind, the thing searched through Professor’s memories and found a word he liked. It wasn’t even that old of a memory. The memory he used to gain control over the vessel’s body.

[There is a beast within every human…… Under the thin shell called logic, there is a large beast hidden in the depths…..]

“A beast, within….”

Sch, sp, schlt!

Professor’s skin started to split, and the monster that was within him entered the world. That reminded him that the vessel had once read a book similar to their situation. It was about a kind doctor and his evil counterpart.

The thin mask on Professor’s face stuck to the skin, and with a wide, menacing grin on his mouth, it began to speak.

“Hyde. My name is Hyde.”

The monster that had finished shedding ran towards Edward’s magic.


The monster, Hyde, did not have a body when it was born. As Edeorna’s infective agent, with the special ability to think as a separate individual with a separate personality, he thought he could be considered a sort of ghost.

As it devoured the vessel’s memories and its consciousness increased, the instinct of the infective agents that failed to take over the brain shrank into a small corner of its consciousness. But the more memories it absorbed and the more senses it shared, the desire within the monster only grew. The desire to actually feel things by itself. Inside the mind, on an island of its consciousness, it just floated around in loneliness, and…..

“Vessel, your thoughts are too human..”

Within the tiny box called Gyosu Park, it was stuck watching him use the body only to a fraction of its potential.

It was only for a short time, but the body could regenerate indefinitely. As long as the brain was alive enough to think, then why did any other shape of the body matter? Why was he always trying to keep his human form?

‘You don’t need to get hurt to regenerate. For example, couldn’t he use it like this?’

Dozens of arms shot out of Hyde’s body. The arms continuously expanded outward—a layer of bone, then muscle, then skin—making layers and layers. If the material was soft, that meant it was also easy to handle. The mass of body that was suddenly created looked more like a massive spear or stake than a body part.

“Mage, you asked me who I am?”

Roooooar!!

As Hyde swung the large body mass toward the approaching wave of water, he spoke again.

“I’m a monster. Not a mute, not a human. Just a monster.”

Crashhhhhh!

The large spear made of flesh and bones and Isaac’s magic collided.


Isaac could not believe what was happening in front of his eyes.

‘Is that…. Even possible?’

Sinking Wave. Made from his sixth awakening, it was the strongest form of magic he could cast. With the pressure of the deep sea, it crushed everything that it sucked in, and the crimson spear was deep in those currents.

Krgrrrgack!

As soon as the massive spear hit the wave, it was easily crushed and twisted, but the mass just threw off the parts as if it were peeling off shells and continued to shoot forward. Within the crushed limbs came new ones, and those were crushed and broken again. Those hundreds and thousands of pieces all pressured into one mass made it close to a black color, and eventually, the tip of the spear finally made it past the wave and pierced through Isaac’s hands, which were still making hand motions.

“Argh!”

Isaac quickly created whips with the remaining mana he had and broke off the tip of the hardened spear, then canceled the wave spell and prepared for his next move. Once his hand motions became unstable, the image of the deep sea waves within him also got shaken. In a restricted situation like this, it was impossible to maintain an image of several different awakenings at once, so he decided to go back to a defensive mode.

The crimson mute had suddenly changed. He no longer had any spare room to play with.

“I see. So this is the talking mute…. You go beyond my expectations! No wonder it defeated the strongest knight in this land!”

A little more. Just a little more time, and the Tobrune troops would be here. Time was on his side. If he concentrated just a little more on defense, then it wouldn’t be impossible to block those crazy attacks he sent his way. Calm the mind down. Calm down and bring up the image for the next….

Crack!

“Gahhhh!”

Isaac’s thoughts vanished in the face of excruciating pain at that moment.

‘The Water Bind was still activated, so where, where did that come….?’

Once he saw where the source of pain was, Isaac knew that he could no longer calm down.

Hand. An arm was growing out of the small wound on his palm, twisting his ankle, and in between each finger were small teeth that ripped through his arm, and the eyeballs that were on the back of the palm on the arm stared at him mockingly.

‘W-What… what is this?! The… the thing is growing from my arm!’

Fear finally started to spread into the old mage’s eyes.

“Try using the information you have. You knew that mutes can still move even without a brain, which means that the infective agents can move on their own by sharing their senses with one another.”

Well, of course, you aren’t an infective agent, so you probably can’t do that. Hyde snickered to itself as it whispered to the vessel that was asleep within the body.

“Grahhh! Ahh, aaaaaaah!”

Holding his arm with his other hand, Isaac was rolling on the floor in a frenzy. The pain wasn’t the problem. This was the first time he felt terror. His fear of something that had invaded his body and was attacking him paralyzed the mage’s ability to think.

Hyde, who was grinning at the interesting scene, slowly walked back to where Rakshasha was standing.

“Female human.”

“….Yes?”

Rakshasha raised her dagger as a warning. She didn’t know what exactly was happening, but that thing wasn’t Professor, and it was a highly dangerous being.

Hyde reacted with a hurtful face to her action.

“Hmph. This is unfair. You’re so nice to the vessel, but you’re being cold to me.”

“…..Well, you aren’t him.”

I mean, that was true. Hyde grumbled something under his breath at her response, then sat down on the floor.

“Finish that guy off.”

“You’re not doing it yourself?”

“I can’t even if I want to.”

As Rakshasha stared at him with a puzzled look, Hyde raised his palm to show her. His hand was completely sucked of life and breaking off into dust at the tips.

“I used up the blood I absorbed to the limit. The vessel can’t control this stuff, so he’ll actually die if I use any more. And there isn’t much time left for me to be awake now.”

An infinite yet finite body, Hyde used up every last bit of knowledge and imagination he gained from Professor’s past battles.

-When the water is contaminated, the mage’s image becomes unstable.-

So he used most of the resources he had to pierce the magic. The more his spear entered the waves, the more his flesh weakened the pressure, leading him to his final target.

-Magic originates from the image of a mage.-

So he squeezed out every last resource he could to create the most horrifying thing he could think of so that the enemy could be tricked. To make the enemy build up on the attack and grow his fear so that he could no longer think properly. Even if he could move the infective agents that were detached from the original body, it didn’t mean he could move them as freely as his own body. The arm holding on to the wrist stopped moving a long time ago. The teeth were only strong enough to leave a small mark on the flesh, and the eyeballs were just rolling around on their own.

But, the enemy was a mage that could change the world through an image within his own self. The fear inside the mage’s mind was already growing and expanding through his mind. What Isaac was seeing was no longer what Hyde had made. It was a visual form of the fear that the mage had made within himself.

It was the tactic the vessel constantly used against enemies.

“It was called ‘bluffing.’”

Ahh, what fun! It’s so nice to have a body!

As he felt his consciousness slowly fading away, Hyde smiled with satisfaction as he tried to remember every feeling he was sensing. The cold feeling of water, Rakshasha’s face, which was staring down at him with suspicion, the thirst of the body asking for blood, and the pain of the body breaking down. Every single feeling and sense was precious to Hyde.

“Female human, I hope that plan of yours works out well, and say hi to the vessel for me.”

After sending a final wink to Rakshasha, Hyde finally sank down into the deep unconsciousness of the mind.

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