Chapter 2 – The Greedy Grimoire (2)

The library wasn’t far from the dormitory. When he was a few steps away from the library’s shabby door, the familiar, pleasant scent of old paper and bookshelves tickled his nose. As he pushed the door half-open, the empty library revealed itself.

Well, I thought it would be like this.

It looked the same as always. It was fair to say no student other than Theodore Miller would be found in the library after class. Most of the books in the library expanded on the difficult concepts the professors only briefly touched on in class. There was no reason for adolescents to seek boredom when they were busy playing. Thanks to that, Theo was able to secure a peaceful space.

“Today… I should look up lightning magic one more time.”

Theo walked between the bookshelves in a familiar manner. After five years in this library, he could find any book with his eyes closed. Even professors who came occasionally to find books would come to Theo before searching the shelves, so there was no doubt about his accuracy.

Theo pulled out the books he wanted.

‘[Lightning Magic Primer]... I’ve memorized everything, but I might have missed something. Additionally, [Why is Lightning Difficult to Control?] could be helpful. [Principles Behind Lightning Strikes]?  It is closer to meteorology than magic, but let's take this as well.’

He was soon carrying three thick books. The books were so thick that it would normally take someone a day and a half to finish one. Even memorizing one book would be an achievement, let alone all three. The students would rise up in protest if they were asked to read these for homework. However, for Theo, these three books were only a day’s worth of reading. 

The professors were aware of this but ignored it because it was no use. If they knew the amount of knowledge Theo had acquired from this library, they would have understood the regret Professor Vince had felt.

Rustle… rustle...

The only sound that broke the silence was the occasional turning of a page. 

Theo liked this silent time. This was how he escaped from his suffocating situation. Here, there were no professors who dismissed Theo or students making jokes. Theo channeled all his stress into studying every day for five years. His superior brain was used to this stress, and it absorbed the knowledge which had been accumulated in the library like fleece sucking up water.

Was he imagining it? As Theo looked at the books carefully, it was like the letters on the paper were sparkling.



Theo closed the third and last book as the library clock struck ten o’clock. He had arrived at six o’clock, so he had read three books in only four hours. He was truly a speed reader.

Hmm, interesting books. Theo thought.

In particular, [Why is Lightning Difficult to Control?] systematically summarized why lightning magic was so difficult. The most difficult spell in the 2nd Circle was ‘Lightning Bolt’, as creating lightning and keeping it flowing in a straight line was rather arduous. It wasn’t uncommon to find even 3rd or 4th Circle magicians who were inexperienced with lightning magic.

Theo put the book aside before aiming his palm at the open window and muttering, “Lightning Bolt.”

Just maybe... He hoped it would work.


However, the result had not changed. There was only a faint electrostatic discharge before the spell broke. The formula of the magic spell was perfect, but his ability to control it was too weak. A person who lacked control couldn’t be a magician. It was something he had heard time and time again, but it was still a sad sight.

“Damn! What the hell is wrong with me...!”

One of the hallmarks of talent was sensitivity, also known as affinity. It referred to one’s ability to control magic power. Magicians with high sensitivity were more powerful than other magicians, even if the same spell was used. The rate of magic power accumulation also worked in a similar fashion. Therefore, sensitivity was an indispensable part of being a magician. Since there was no method to raise it, the trait became more prominent.

For Theo, it was like reaching for a pie in the sky.

Haaaah...” He couldn’t help sighing.

After five years, Theo’s hope had been worn thin. Theo thought of his parents who were waiting for him and the people who thought of him as their master. He would be publicly shamed if he couldn’t get his degree. A magician who graduated from the academy would be able to waste time for several years just by relying on the academy’s name.

But can I even graduate next year?

Despite the amount of work he had put in, he had only reached the 2nd Circle. It was almost impossible for him to break into the 3rd Circle, which was a Bergen Academy graduation requirement, without dying.

Next year would be meaningless. The boy, who had been so confident when he left home, became a young man afraid of failure.


It was the bell that signaled lights out. It was also the sound which indicated Theo’s time was over. He had to hurry or the door of the dormitory would be locked. First, he needed to put away the three books. Theo embraced the three books, like he had done in the beginning. However, the moment he pushed his chair back to rise...


A book on the desk caught his attention.

Didn’t I only bring three books? Did I accidentally grab another book?

It was strange, but he should put it away anyway.

Theo stood up and reached out with his left hand. It was a fairly thin book, so he was going to pick it up with one hand. However, the sensation at his fingertips was strange. It felt like he had stuck his hand in a sticky barrel of syrup, or if slimy flesh was tickling the palm of his hand.

… It was like he had put his hand in the mouth of something alive.



Theo hurriedly pulled back his left hand at the creepy feeling. He fell on his rump, as his books tumbled to the ground. However, that didn’t matter. Theo needed to identify the thing which had touched his palm.

But when Theo hastily got up, there was nothing on the desk.


Theo’s eyes widened. Was it a hallucination? He could still feel that creepy, sticky feeling that had tickled his palm. Theo touched his left hand carefully. He wanted to check if it was damp and see if what had happened just before was real. However, the palm of his left hand was dry.

“There was clearly a shabby book on the desk...”

Theo muttered and sank weakly to the floor. He accidentally sat on the edge of a book, causing him to yelp, however, the pain was nothing compared to the psychological impact. Didn’t a magician always need to be cool-headed? Had his mental state fallen to the bottom due to his sense of insecurity?

Should I drop out this year?

It was better than being expelled. Theo knew that, but he had held onto the hope of becoming a magician for five years. It wasn’t a dream he could just throw away. Theo sighed and put his hand on the cold floor to lift himself up.

It was at this moment that...


His left hand felt a strange texture. It was the same slippery and sticky sensation again...!

Theo reflexively looked down at his hand on the floor… and saw something shocking.

“... T-Tongue?!”

A tongue was sticking out of Theo’s palm. It had a smooth pink surface and looked like it came from a reptile. The tongue sprang from a hole in the middle of his palm and tasted the air like a snake in search of food. It swayed slowly from side to side.


Without warning, it snatched a book from the floor like a frog grabbing a fly. It was so fast that Theo nearly didn’t catch it. The tongue wrapped itself completely around the book.

No one could’ve predicted what happened next. The tongue which held its prey was then sucked back into the hole in Theo’s palm.


There was the sound of something being swallowed. A book on the ground had suddenly disappeared into his left hand. Theo looked down at his left hand with an absurd expression. However, the book his palm hand swallowed didn’t emerge.

Instead, Theo heard a voice. It was a voice with a strange tone he had never heard before.

[Lightning Magic Primer has been consumed. Your comprehension is very high.]

[2nd Circle spell ‘Lightning Bolt’ has been acquired.]

[After waking up from a long sleep, Gluttony is very hungry. Hurry and relieve Gluttony’s hunger. The time limit is 10 minutes from now. (1/5)]


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