A mercenary dragon army has attacked the human city.  Furthermore, if it was a dragon investigating, he would have felt the traces of the true dragon, as well.  And that a human blooded sorcerer had destroyed them all, all by himself.  That was, the sorcerer with light brown hair.  This would cast a suspicion that would be almost certain.

“They would kill immediately.  No one, around you, will survive most likely?  That would be the only way to eliminate any potential, future troubles.  That is the way of the lizard bastards.”

Not just Ian, but those who are around him. In close proximity, it meant the family members, and more widely, the entire city. He felt certainty from Fran’s tone.

“That tragedy, don’t you want to avoid it?”

“…..”

Certainly he wanted to avoid it.  He wanted to avoid it in any way possible. That was Ian’s true feeling.  However, he did not respond readily.

‘Can’t just trust him blindly, ether.’

He had more than a couple of suspicions.  He had a temperament of not even trusting ordinary humans, yet, how can he trust a one thousand year old slimy snake?  No matter how hard he was thinking about it, he couldn’t help, but have reservations.  After all, he was just the being who considers Ian, himself, as only a tool.  It meant that he was no ordinary blood relative.

‘However.’

If he was to just put aside those suspicions. His words were convincing. He had to believe it even if he didn’t want to believe it.

“What is it?  The way to avoid that tragedy.”

“It’s simple.  I’ll bring you up to my level.”

“Your level…..?”

Fran Paige. The level that which the first sorcerer has reached. It was not a simple matter. It was the beginning and the end of all magic and power. And so, he began to be suspicious, again. It was because it sounded impossible.

“I also thought that it was impossible until just recently.  My thoughts have changed.  Looking at you, it seems that you’ve been injured by a forbidden power…..”

“Forbidden power?”

Fran stretched out his right arm in response to the question. Then amazing thing took place.

‘Mana…..’

Ian had been slightly tapped by the dragon’s finger nail. All that Fran did was to stretch out the palm of his hand. Yet, the result was incredibly amazing.

‘Has it returned….?’

The missing mana. He felt the responsive power of it.

“Perhaps, because you’ve lost the power that you’ve always took for granted?  The pressure and the urgency has become fundamentally unbearable.  It is the perfect condition to have understanding in the past life.”

With those words Fran retrieved his hand. Then the responsiveness of mana was gone also.

“…..”

The overwhelming difference in the powers. Furthermore, his counterpart was only a spiritual being. That was, it wasn’t even the power of a true being. Yet, how could it be this strong?

“Ian, you do not have a choice.  The longer you hesitate, the higher the probability grows.  That is, the probability that your mother will perish in the hands of the lizards.  She was a good woman.  We can’t let that be her fate, now can we?”

In response, Ian’s eyes twitched.  Along with the dragons’, the tone of that Fran Paige did not sit well with Ian, either.

“Was it only Vanessa?  Fairly good friendships have been forged in this life, this time around, with the likes of the princess, the alchemist father and son team, the crowned price, and that knight.  Who else was there?  At any rate, quite a large number of good friends may perish.”

The second life of Ian.  The lives of those who he thought were special to him in this life were flashing by one after another.

“If you want to avoid that tragic future, listen and do as I say.  Then I’ll teach you everything.  And with that power, destroy all the members of that dragon race.  That’s the only way you and your acquaintances will survive.  And you may enjoy more things after that, if you want to.  It is powerful enough to achieve that?”

He would be taught everything by the first sorcerer.  Then, annihilate the dragon race.  And thus, save the lives of those who were around him, and himself.  How sensible and sweet a whisper it was.  As he said, there was no room for any other choices, either.  He was already at the end of the road, it seemed.

“If the dragon race was to be annihilated.”

Ian quietly regurgitated Fran’s words. He recited in a quiet voice.

“You, too, would be freed.”

“It just might as well be so, right?”

“That must be the purpose.”

“Think as you please.”

Fran responded as if it was nothing. He then, again, urged for Ian to make his decision.

“Let me remind you again, the quicker the decision, the better.”

“…..”

No matter how hard he had struggled with it, the final decision seemed to be the same. There was no better choice. It reminded him of the expression, ‘irresistible force.’ Although the deliberation has been brief, the thought was very deep.

“…. Your method, I’ll go with it.”

To Ian’s decision.

“It is a prudent decision.”

Fran welcomed the decision with satisfaction. He wobbled momentarily.

“Gosh, I guess it’s already depleted.”

“What?”

“A piece of the spiritual body, which was placed on her, I’ve only used one the size of a finger nail in attempts to conserve and conserve again.  Even not much of the spiritual body is remaining.  There is way too much to lose unless it is used conservatively.”

Fran was in a situation where he was borrowing Emily’s body. It meant that Emily, herself, was not the spiritual body.

Ian’s expression has darkened upon hearing those words.

“That expression, perhaps, concerned for your father…..”

“Not you, Emily.”

“Ah, you do not need to worry about this, child.  I only borrowed her body.”

Ian felt relieved when he heard that. She was a girl that his mother thought of as her younger sister. Of course, Fran knew that fact, too.

“Then I’ll return soon.  I need to get prepared.”

“Get prepared?  How long will it take?”

“Shouldn’t take … Long…..”

It was from right at that moment. Fran’s voice eventually became smaller. The piece of the spiritual form that had been placed over Emily… It was because its power was nearly depleted.

“A few days…. Sufficient….”

That was the end.  Fran Paige’s voice was cut off.  In addition, Emily’s body fell to the ground like a leaf.  Ian quickly helped her.  He only hoped that Fran saying that a good night’s sleep would fix her was true.

“…..same class as you.”

Ian murmured as he was looking at Emily, who was fallen.  Then he saw the eyes, nose, and the mouth which have relayed Fran Paige’s message, as Fran Paige.

“No, I…..”

Ian’s tone was more determined than ever. He continued to speak to himself.

“Will need to stand higher.”

He had to do so. Ian was sure.  His instincts and experiences whispered to him. Do not be fooled by a slimy face. Do not be fooled by the name, father. The being that was more dangerous than the dragons. None other than Fran Paige, that was.

“Over you.”

* * *

Several days after since then. A quite a ‘different being’ has appeared before Ian’s eyes. It was the being who was the ‘most fit’ to pass down the power.

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