I sat in the magical workshop inside my estate completely at my wit’s end.
I was born in Japan on the first year of the Taisho Era (1912). 60 years….now on the verge of death I realize that life is too short.
A single lifetime is much too short to unveil the secrets of sorcery.
I had completely immersed myself in the magical arts, but even now I had only just gotten my foot through the door. There was much I still wanted to do.
With the techniques I had available to me now I could probably extend my life by a decade……maybe two decades.
「But what’s the point of that?」
To meagerly swindle death for a few more paltry years…it wasn’t enough.
At the very least I want ten times more.
However, I don’t have that kind of power. This old decaying body. My mind which grows ever slower. I hate this body that ties me down and slowly sends me to my doom.
Impossible! Absolutely not! My inquisitive and adventurous spirit screamed those words.
Just a little more and I’d be able to open a new path. I was confident of that.
「That’s right…since this body can no longer suffice, then I might as well toss it aside.」
I would go so far as to say that most magicians would eventually come to the same answer I have.
I could just have my soul move to a new body.
However, no one seems to know the right method.
Taking over another body is prohibitively difficult. Magic is basically a power that depends on your will. A soul and will within the original body has incredible power. Furthermore, its unconscious strength when defending its own body was extraordinary.
Lastly there is the issue of the soul’s compatibility with the body. A person’s body matches with its soul and grows. Even as a baby it is slow. At the very moment the body comes into the world it is a vessel for that particular soul.
If you aim for that instant then things can still work out, but your life-force will be very fragile. If you inhabited a body that died almost instantly you wouldn’t even be able to laugh at your bad luck.
Wasn’t there a safe and secure way to accomplish this?
Were both geniuses and normal people forced to stop at this roadblock?
Magic was the research of the soul. Therefore, I should be more knowledgeable about it than anyone.
That is how I came to my final answer.
「The circle of transmigration. Birth, death, and rebirth.」
That’s right. Allowing my soul to return.
The soul departs for heaven and finally returns back to earth. However, this cycle would clear the memories from soul before completing the cycle. That was my conjecture.
However, there were exceptions. Powerful desires may allow the current soul to go on living despite going through such a cycle. There were those who retained memories from a past life due to such reasons.
Then, I would need to do the same.
I would have to intentionally engrave my memories and will so deeply into my soul, that they would not scatter even through the cycle of rebirth.
In doing so, when I finally enter samsara I could be born as myself.
I could probably only accomplish this now. Before age stole my mind and skills.
If I made a mistake my soul could be shattered as I lived the rest of my days as a soulless puppet.
Even if I succeeded I still didn’t have complete proof that reincarnation even existed.
It was a bet with low odds.
「I don’t have much choice.」
For me I had nothing else.
My desired path was right in front of me if I succeeded. So why should I hesitate?
If I were to abandon this path, my magician’s spirit would die with it.
「Fly Free, my Soul.」
I chanted the mantra to control my own soul.
「Take the memories of this fading body and hold them fast! Engrave my cries into this soul. Begin the ceremony」
In all honesty the chant didn’t really have a meaning.
Magic was constructed by the mind and soul to change the order of the natural world.
However, you could use a chant to direct your thoughts appropriately.
I felt a burning sensation in my chest. My existence that was stored solely in my brain…all of the information was being burned deeper into my very being. The thoughts and knowledge that would die with my brain would live forever more once engraved upon my soul.
The only problem was that doing this was equivalent to injuring my soul. If I made a mistake during this process my soul would break and I would cease to exist.
Complete destruction without the possibility of reincarnation.
Thousands and tens of thousands of command equations ran continuously. Blue sequences of characters that I had imagined and now given form began to circle around the room.
Blood began to flow from my mouth. The injury to my soul was feeding back into my body.
Hot, it’s so hot. My own existence felt as if it was swelling.
Why had I been so particular about this body?
I thought as I tampered with my soul.
This was the true form of a magician.
My pores overflowed with blood. I don’t remember when I started my calculations. Even so I continued to engrave so my existence wouldn’t fade.
Finally, my body approached its limits.
It wasn’t a matter of will, it was my physical limits.
I sat in a pool of my own blood with a grin on my face.
Success. It was wounded, but my soul had survived intact. I had engraved myself upon it.
Like this I would definitely die.
However, I didn’t care. Because now I had proof that my ideas were not wrong.
Let’s talk about the result. I succeeded.
My first reincarnation was in America 1972 AD.
I was born the second son in a middle class family.
I recalled my previous life on the day of my thirteenth birthday. It seems that until my body developed enough, it could not accept the information coming from my soul.
During this lifetime I dove back into the research that had occupied me during my previous life.
However, it was a hopelessly lonely life. The world had abandoned magic.
Science had shone a light on the dark corners of the world and there was no longer any mysterious places to be found. The things that magic could do and science could not nearly disappeared.
For example, if a magician dedicated his life to learning the power of flames and used several different magic devices they would be able to burn an area about 50 meters in size. However, tools using science would be able to do the same thing but hundreds or thousands of times bigger. Plus it was usable by anyone.
At this point I decided to give up my research on influencing physical phenomena with magic and instead focus on the mind and soul. I believed that it was the sacred ground of magic.
Then after another 50 years of life, I once again engraved this lifetime on my soul and ended this incarnation.
My second reincarnation was almost a joke with the world I ended up inhabiting.
Culturally it felt like a mix between middle ages and modern times.
Goblins, Orcs, and other monsters threw their weight around and armored knights paraded about the town. Magic was usable by even the general populace.
That’s right. I hadn’t just changed what year it was, the world itself was not Earth.
I was born the fourth son of a knight in service of the royal family. It was a fairly free and easy life.
Here I recalled my previous lives at the age of 14.
It was there that I finally realized.
On Earth there was some unknown restriction on magic.
A spell on Earth would immediately begin to dissipate no matter how much you maintained its form. Whenever a magic spell came to your mind no sound would occur.
This world was great. There was tons of information about magical development here. What’s more, magic was actually useful in combat.
It was in this world that I truly shone. Magic dwells within the soul. After leaving the inferior environment of Earth my true ability was revealed. My position improved, I was taken by the castle, and became the Royal Magician.
In this world there was individual inherent magic and generic magic that anyone could use. Inherent magic was supposedly granted by the Goddess. It seems like anything goes in a fantasy world like this.
Generic magic had a certain reason and logic behind it, but inherent magic did not. I couldn’t understand it despite using my own inherent magic. It seems The Goddess gives each person an inherent magical circuit inside their body. Generic magic seems to imitate that circuit to produce an outcome.
The form that my inherent magic took was…the ability to return my body to its condition at some point in my past. Using this I could fight in my prime even when I got old, plus it appears I could recall my previous existences.
In this world I died on the battlefield.
I used the final breath in my body to record it upon my soul.
After that I reincarnated over and over.
From Heisei Japan, to a fantasy world, a steampunk world, and France in 2210 AD. From worlds where only I worked upon magic, to other worlds that seemed straight out of games…I reincarnated 15 times. Each time I would regain my memories around the age of 13~15.
After approaching the extremes of magic and the limits of self-education……I felt the desire to seek out pleasure outside the research of magic.
A particular enjoyment was in 2210 AD France. A new VRMMO was just coming in to popularity.
Using the VR technology they were able to recreate physical sensations within the game.
Within the VR world 1000 seconds would count as one second in the real world.
It was within this world that I allowed myself to enjoy some retro Japanese anime and games. I had originally been born in Japan and was missing the nostalgia of these old familiar things. In this nearly infinite time I could enjoy myself to the fullest.
In this world I abstained from magic and gave myself over to enjoying myself before finally dying of infirmity.
As my reincarnation was about to exceed the twentieth time things had finally gone stale. I had the passion but my zeal was dying down.
It was at this point that I thought it was about time to end. My research was at a dead end and I did not feel that there was anything else that was worth doing.
On the twenty-first life I decided it would be my last……but that was when I met a girl.
I met her in a world that had been ruined by the Demon King.
That girl was truly beautiful High Elf. Her beautiful golden hair and her black robe fluttered through the air as she faced down the being that had destroyed her world with her World Tree Bow in hand.
No matter how she was hurt or how many times she fell, she stood once more to fight.
Then, the decisive battle. The Demon King was attacking the last bastion of humanity.
She, along with her remaining companions, fought in a desperate battle. She didn’t despair, she fought with the conviction that she would emerge victorious. Then one, then two…her companions fell one after another. Finally she was alone. She continued to fight and eventually struck the Demon King a telling blow while he did the same to her.
After the battle she turned to the people who watched…she smiled as if to say everything was alright now.
She smiled despite having lost her companions. Despite having a wound deep enough that it wouldn’t be strange if she simply dropped dead.
Seeing her, my heart beat passionately for the first time in an eternity.
Yes I knew. I knew that over the perpetuity of my life, the shine had worn from my soul. But seeing those people with such light within them could illuminate my own soul.
After that the High Elf girl went on a journey to make sure the Demon King would never revive. I set off on the journey with her and finally died at the end of my lifespan.
This lifetime changed me. Instead of simply seeking out pleasure…instead of simply searching out the ends of magic…I would find those people whose souls shone with light. I would accompany them and watch over their stories.
Furthermore, I would do my best not to interfere with the life of my current incarnation.
However, it was on my thirty-first time…that my fated reincarnation began.