I clicked my tongue as I saw the carriage being smashed into pieces. "How does it make sense to have someone with the standing of a duke serve as a decoy?”
Did this mean that the opponent was so notable that bait at the duke’s level was necessary? I couldn't understand.
To my whining, Duke Asteria answered pleasantly, "Hahaha, it has to be a duke for the opponent to take the bait. The opponent is bigger than you think."
I feigned a laugh. "Ahaha, just how significant of an opponent is it for Your Highness to be the bait?"
At that time, the carriage driver sprang out of the dust cloud that was created when the carriage was smashed.
I took out my magic wand from the pocket space, thinking that the man did well surviving the blow, and pointed it at the carriage driver. "Stop!"
When I pointed my magic wand, the carriage driver stopped running towards us and raised his hands, asking, "What are you doing that for?"
The duke was confused by my action, but I wasn’t messing around. "Who are you? Are you an enemy?"
When I asked, the carriage driver shouted with a perplexed face, "No, I’m not!"
Oh, I see. Just jumping to the point like that, it seemed I was too smart.
"What do you mean no? That face is fake. It's quite sophisticated, but the muscles that one needs to use when talking don't move.” Moreover, the mana and aura that I felt were too strong for an ordinary carriage driver.
By the way, I'd never seen such an elaborate facial disguise before. I couldn’t feel any magic from it, so it must not be made with magic. I should capture him alive and get that skill. I want it.
The duke was rather flustered at my yell. "No, that carriage driver is my escort too. Facial disguises are his specialty."
What? You two are on the same side? Then, that means I won’t be able to force him to give me his skill.
I ignored the duke's words and shot a magic bullet at the carriage driver's feet.
"Hold, hold on!" The carriage driver waved his hands in front of him in surprise.
"Don't move and take off your facial disguise! Otherwise, I'll see you as an enemy."
"Hey, come now!"
The duke was upset, but I shook my head. "You can't trust a man who's hidden his identity."
"I don't think that's something you should say," the duke murmured as he looked at my mask.
Life is normally not fair. This was definitely not because I wanted that carriage driver’s skills.
"You have to consider the carriage driver being swapped out during the chaos. The carriage was just obliterated. When you are under attack, you have to rule out the uncertainty factor."
I aimed exactly at the carriage driver’s heart and shouted, "I’ll give you three seconds!"
The magic wand was infused with mana, and the mana stones around the Dragon Heart began to rotate violently.
"Three! Two! One-!"
At my quick countdown, the carriage driver quickly took off his facial disguise. I knew that face under the disguise.
"That's the face I know, so put the magic wand down,” the duke said, and I lowered my magic wand.
"He's got pretty skilled disguising abilities because he’s always running away from debt collectors. That's why he’s nicknamed the Debt-Ridden Knight."
The carriage driver’s identity was the Debt-Ridden Knight, a platinum plate adventurer. One had to wonder just how often he’d been chased by debt collectors to develop such adept makeup skills.
Anyways, that's too bad; I wanted that disguise technique. Now I can't force him to spit it out.
I sighed inwardly and pulled the Debt-Ridden Knight towards me with magic.
"Argh!" Debt-Ridden Knight yelled in surprise as his body was suddenly pulled towards the duke and me.
A sword aura flew where the Debt-Ridden Knight had just stood, narrowly cutting his collar.
"Eek!" The Debt-Ridden Knight freaked out with a blue face, and as he flew towards me, I sent him behind me and pointed my magic wand towards the carriage.
"Protect His Highness." I was tense as I seriously gathered my mana.
Blue Mask appeared as he blew away the dust produced from the carriage’s obliteration with a strong wind. The aura he was emitting far exceeded my expectations. He was very strong.
"As His Highness said, it is a big shot."
The martial aura he was emitting was enough to make my whole body numb. Perhaps because the bait was so substantial, our catch was also too large.
I said to Duke Asteria with a bitter smile, "Your Highness, can you tell me in advance if you have a will just in case?
"Hahaha, making jokes.” The duke laughed, but unfortunately, I wasn't joking.
Today, I think I will need to update the list of monsters I’ve met. Blue Mask was such a monster that he could be ranked amongst the others at the top of the list.
"Oh, of course, we’ll manage to run away somehow. But we might have to throw away one or two limbs." The duke and the Debt-Ridden Knight’s faces hardened when I said this.
"It's okay. I know a really good priest. You might still be on the brink of death, but at least you will live."
If it’s Hillis, as long as you still had life remaining, she would be able to save you somehow. However, the problem was that we rode the carriage for quite a while, so we were rather far from the capital.
Based on the current location of the moon and stars, we were at the plains used as agricultural land near the capital. These were real plains with no mountains or forests in view. It seems we’d have no choice but to say goodbye to the plains, known for supplying food to the rest of the region.
"Summoning Green Deer.” Two green deer were summoned.
"The two of you mount up and escape at full speed. They can run faster than a carriage in the woods, so it won't take long to get there."
These guys were very expensive. They were so pricy that none of the people chasing me when I left my hometown were riding them. Well, if it's an environment like Olympus Forest, the villagers would not have used them because they could run faster than the mounts. It took a great deal of control to handle these guys in the woods, but since the way back was just flat land, being able to ride a horse would be enough.
"Your disguise skills should be enough for the rental fee,” I spoke to the Debt-Ridden Knight getting on the deer, and he looked dumbfounded.
"You want me to teach you my foundational skills? Isn't that too expensive?"
I patted the green deer’s flank and shouted, "That one deer you're riding is more expensive!"
I'll definitely get the Debt-Ridden Knight’s disguising skills one way or another. Frankly, his disguising abilities seemed very useful.
Then, Blue Mask shot a sword aura at the two fleeing men, and I intercepted it with a magic bullet. "Such a cheery person you are, greeting me with a sword aura instead of your name."
Blue Mask slowly walked towards me and said coldly, "I'm wearing a mask to hide my identity, so is there a need to tell you my name?"
"That's true. But seeing how each of you wears different colored masks, you seem to agree that there is a need to distinguish yourselves, right?
Blue Mask answered my casual remark seriously. "It's unpleasant to be mistaken for another person."
"Shall we at least introduce our nicknames to each other?"
Blue Mask laughed at my suggestion. "Hut, you are clearly blatantly buying time, but all right. I’m called Aquarius. However, do you not think that my colleagues will launch a surprise attack?"
I mirrored Aquarius’s laughter at his provocation. “Ayy, you are treating me like a pushover too much. Of course, I sent them off after having prepared for anything. They won't have to worry as long as a monster like yourself does not show up."
Expensive things are worth their massive price. My green deer was an alchemic lifeform that was especially improved to be able to fly, with it also being modified to shoot beams from its nose like Rudolph.
In addition, I even equipped it with a function to play carol songs so that passengers can feel happy. Duke Asteria, riding on a flying deer containing a man's romantic ideals, will be able to go to the capital with joy.
"I see. Then I'll have to take you down quickly and go to Duke Asteria." Aquarius exploded with martial aura.
It was a terrifying martial aura capable of giving an average knight a heart attack. I flew up into the sky quickly.
Aquarius looked at me flying up and smiled. "If you go that far away, I'll just go to the duke.”
I shrugged lightly at Aquarius’s warning. "I'm a magician. Magicians don't do things like close combat.”
"Oho, it's not scary when a magician with no vanguard says that.”
I laughed at Aquarius’s taunt. "Let me show you how magicians fight. Summon chirps."
A summoning circle was drawn in the air, and a flock of 300 chirps poured out.
I took out the last legacy of the Holy Tribe, the magic stone, from my pocket space and attached it to the Dragon Heart part of my magic wand. "Summoned dragon tooth soldiers."
Twenty knights riding on black alchemic lifeform horses followed behind the chirps. The mass-produced dragon tooth soldiers that I made to fight my father posed with their swords drawn.
“If there are no vanguards, I just need to make them.”
“That's a pretty interesting idea.” Aquarius covered his sword with aura blade and gave a deep smile.
"It's not over yet. Summon! Giant Golem!" From the summoning magic circle emerged a huge golem in the shape of a knight that tried to kill me at the ruins.
Unfortunately, most of the twelve golems were buried after the ruins collapsed, and so due to the lack of materials, I only had one. Furthermore, the souls of the knights that were planted in the golems had not been fully studied yet, so I couldn’t use them.
Of course, after studying them, I plan to plant the souls into the dragon tooth soldiers, not golems. No matter how I thought about it, it was too inefficient to put them in golems. Naturally, I know the romantic ideal of a giant knight statue roaming about, but for just moving, not having a soul was fine.
"Hahahaha, impressive. Very impressive! This will be fun!" With the appearance of the giant golem, Aquarius burst into joyous laughter.
This reaction was familiar to me for some reason. It was a reaction that people in my hometown would have if they saw a golem.
"Is that all of your preparations?”
I shrugged at Aquarius. "Well, you never know. There may be more."
Actually, there wasn't. If there were more, they would be similar to the dragon tooth soldiers, but they’d merely be a strong doll because they had not been connected to its core, the magic stone.
"I see. Then let's play around so you can take out any more that you might have!"
Um, excuse me, wasn't your target Duke Asteria? You looking happy must be me hallucinating, right?
"Dragon tooth soldiers, draw your swords!" At my command, the dragon tooth soldiers drew their swords and surrounded them in an aura blade.
"Chirps, scatter side to side, and golem charge straight!"
There were too many things to manage, so it was too difficult for me to control them all with only my thoughts. When I get back, I'll have to study the golem core and get some subordinates to help lead.
"Uahahahaha!" Aquarius burst into laughter and shot an aura blade at the giant golem while I surrounded the golem with a barrier.
Aquarius’s aura blade destroyed my barrier as he jumped high and swung his sword.Previous Chapter Next Chapter