Chapter 220. Aquarius (18)

"Calm down for a second!" I tried shouting while avoiding the ice arrow, but Yuria was firmly rooted in her misunderstanding and didn't even listen to me.

"If it's an excuse, I'll listen to it after I kill you!"

"Hey, if you kill me, then I can't talk!” Despite my protest, Yuria simply shot an ice arrow.

Well, it's not that I didn’t understand why her friend crying would get her angry, but it was frustrating for me to be misunderstood.

"Why don't you just overpower her? It looks like she's around the same level as Leisha,” said Hestia.

It was an accurate judgment of skill level despite not learning magic. Yuria's skills, like Leisha noona, had reached the end of the realm of being a great magician and were just being obstructed at the wall of the Magic Way. If there were an opportunity, she would be able to reach the level of a madosa.

I sighed at Hestia noona’s advice. "That’s not so easy to do."

"Why? I heard that in a battle between magicians, it's easy for one to overpower the other if there's a big gap between their levels.”

"Where'd you hear something like that?"

Hestia noona answered with a light shrug, “Where? Of course, from Leisha.” 

My fourth sister really says some unnecessary things. Well, it wasn't even a secret because it was common sense among magicians. The higher the level of a magician, the better their ability to control mana. That meant that if one’s level was high enough, they could just interfere with the mana the opponent was using for their magic.

"That's true, but it's a little..."

Of course, even if there were a difference in level, if the opponent was around the level of a madosa, they would have strong control over their mana, and so it would be almost impossible. But in that sense, it wouldn’t be that difficult to subdue Yuria. Yuria was still just a great magician.

"Why?"

"Hey, she's the granddaughter of the great elder of the Butterfly Tribe. You're in big trouble if you mess with her recklessly."

Come to think of it, I only succeeded in gaining control over the great elder’s ice castle because it was incomplete, and I knew the weakness in the magic, but in a normal situation, I would have failed. Thanks to this, I was able to easily escape from the flustered great elder. Otherwise, I would have had another brutally difficult fight there.

"Hmm, really?" Hestia noona looked between Yuri and me alternately with interest.

“Then I guess we should just run away?” 

“Ehew, yes, I suppose.” I was annoyed because I felt like I was on the receiving end of a strange grudge.

"Shall I help you?”

At Hestia noona’s sudden suggestion, I gave her a suspicious look. "With what?"

"What do you mean ‘with what,’ the misunderstanding. I think I can resolve it if I explain to her properly.”

"Really?"

This was a strange misunderstanding, but it involved Lupin, so it would be fine if I ran away and no longer ran into Yuria as Lupin. So I didn’t know what she was thinking, saying that she would clear up the misunderstanding. "What are you plotting?”

"What plot? I'm just trying to help you with the love business."

I don't know what kind of bullcrap you’re spouting.

"I don't really have any intentions of getting into a relationship. No, who are you trying to set me up with? If you think I’ll go back to our hometown just because I’m in a relationship, that’s a big miscalculation on your part.”

My life without anyone was already unstable enough as it is, so a relationship was definitely not going to happen. Considering the age of Elder Mirpa, my healthy teacher, I didn’t even know how long my life expectancy was, so it wouldn’t be funny to date someone who would certainly die first.

Hestia noona replied with a smile, "I know. Who said I’m going to help you with your love business?”

Hestia noona looked at the palace that was only a kilometer away and suddenly rose as if she were trying to escape from my arms. "Let me down; I can go alone from here."

"Don't be ridiculous. Do you know how much trouble I'd get in from Dad if I left you alone in a place like this?"

Hestia noona was born with a naturally fragile constitution that cursed her maternal side’s bloodline, and so her father pampered her because she was weak. In fact, it was a curse so powerful that her life would have been in danger at her current age if not for the fact that she was born into the Crow Tribe and had Elder Mirpa’s treatment.

"I don't want to be beaten to death by Dad."

Well, she didn’t have to worry about dying because the curse was completely lifted now, but I was nervous about leaving her alone because she was weak for a Crow.

"Then leave some protective things behind. You know, the magic bird that smashed the Asteria Market building."

I sighed, stopped in place, and cast a wide barrier at Hestia noona’s persistence.

Dozens of ice arrows shot by Yuria stuck into the barrier, but it felt like a drizzle of rain compared to the Butterfly Tribe’s great elder’s ice bullets.

"Ehew, all right. Hold on." From my pocket space, I took out various catalysts, a necklace called the Crystal of Perfection, a mana stone, and mithril. A high-quality jewel without any impurities could work as a good magic catalyst.

"I grant you: ten thousand years of ice is indomitable, unyielding, immutable! The dots gather to form a line, cough!" Darn, maybe I pushed it, but my mana seemed to flow backward a little.

"Kkyack, are you all right?!" Hestia noona was surprised when I vomited blood.

"Lines gather to create form, cough!"

"Don't overdo it! I just need you to get me something that I can use as an escort!"

My third sister stopped me, but I ignored her and finished the magic incantation. "Ice of 10,000 years is a primordial form. Tweh!"

I spat out a mouthful of blood and handed Hestia noona the Crystal of Perfection. "Take it; I've cast the strongest barrier I know onto it. It should be able to take at least one full-powered punch from Dad."

It wasn't perfect because it was copied from magic I only saw once, but it was cast properly. It could probably withstand a blow from Uncle Bloody even if he used the Dance of Fireflies. I put the Crystal of Perfection on my hesitant third sister's neck and gave her another green bracelet.

"Summon, Green Deer." A green deer came out of the air upon my order. With this, she should be able to escape from almost any situation.

"Hmm, it seems you really pushed yourself. Then, I'll leave first." Hestia noona looked at me worriedly as I waved lightly and continued, "Take a good rest. I won't try to catch you until we are going to go back home."

"Thank you for that.” It seemed like she was being sincere. I think I really should take a good rest.

Yuria looked at me and pointed her magic wand, but Hestia noona stood before me and blocked her, saying, "Let me have a word with you."

When my third sister blocked her, Yuria faltered and lowered her magic wand. Fortunately, it seemed unlikely that Yuria would attack Hestia noona and cause an all-out war with the Crow Tribe.

I ran away in relief. Hiding in the palace, I quickly headed to the room where Duke Asteria was assigned. When I arrived at the room, I took out my suit, changed into it, and wore the recognition interfering glasses.

"Mmm, good. It's working properly.”

On the glasses, a small portion displayed the map of the capital and marked Hestia noona’s location. It was a good idea to vomit blood on purpose and place location tracking magic and wiretapping magic on the Crystal of Perfection. I took advantage of the fact that it was hard to notice planting smaller magic amidst powerful magic.

"Hua, I'm tired!" I loosened my tie slightly and lolled over the sofa.

Now shall I listen to Hestia's plan? I'm sure she’s plotting something. The fact that she was easily caught by me and that she remained in that position proved it. Then, suddenly, I heard an interesting voice from behind me.

“Oho, was the banquet that tiring?” 

I stood up reflexively. "You have arrived!"

"Make yourself at home; you look tired. But I haven’t seen those glasses before.”

I took off my glasses and laughed, "Haha, it is because my eyes are tired."

I guess I really was exhausted. I didn’t even feel Duke Asteria coming in.

At my reply, the duke gave a gentle smile.

* * *

Duke Asteria, looking at the mirror Talaria took out, could not close his mouth. "This isn’t a fight between humans."

The clash between Denburg and Zendia was like something out of a myth. There was a feast of magic containing giant golems, knights on horses running through the sky, and terrifying magic that you could feel on your skin even from far away. And a single swordsman against all that.  It felt like a recreation of a legendary story.

"Yeah. Denburg, that brat, was hiding his skills when he was fighting me.” Talaria wore a cheeky face and put an ear plug-shaped magic tool in her ear.

She didn't know what the two were going to talk about, so she purposely made it impossible to hear any sound from the mirror. This was because Zendia might accidentally leak secrets that should not be told to Duke Asteria. The battle in the mirror became more intense, and after Zendia was thrown into the ground, a meteorite was dropped above him.

"Is In-law all right?!" The two jumped out of their seats in surprise.

Even Talaria didn't expect Denburg to really use a legendary meteor strike. In the aftermath of the meteorite, the image of the mirror showed static and momentarily turned off and on. Then, the reflection in the mirror showed Zendia with a half-broken Demon Sword and Denburg with the Holy Sword.

"Whew, fortunately, In-law is safe.” Duke Asteria breathed a sigh of relief and sat back in place.

Talaria was also relieved after worrying a bit, but she did not show any signs of this.

"Huhuhuh, you're all so impressive, In-law, grandson, and yourself, Big Mama. You didn't even bat an eye at the risk of In-law's death. I guess this is normal for the Crow Tribe.”

Talaria wanted to shake her head. This wasn't normal for the Crow Tribe either. It was a monstrous sight that even the people of her hometown couldn't help but admire. She was actually scared internally and was relieved to see Zendia safe.

"Hohoho." Talaria glossed over it with laughter. Then the two people in the mirror clashed again, and soon, Zendia’s mask broke apart.

“...Grandfather?” Denburg's voice was heard from the wiretapping magic tool in her ear. 

Then, Denburg's mask also broke.

"Huh?" Duke Asteria was surprised to see Denburg’s face.

This face was one he was familiar with.

“That face! Big Mama, did you know?” Duke Asteria asked.

Talaria nodded. "Yes, I did."

"Why didn't you let me know?" To the uncomfortable-looking duke, Talaria showed him a contract.

"It's… I see. Did he, no, did Den force you to do this?"

"Yes, as you know, he is a clever brat."

The duke smiled cheerfully at Talaria's reply. "Ahahaha! I see."

Now he understood why Den kept reminding him of his daughter.

"Ahahahaha! I've grown old. I didn't even know despite him being so close.”

The two in the mirror were having a friendly conversation as if they had never fought. Duke Asteria was very envious of the sight. 

Ududuk!

Suddenly, a fierce sound was heard, and the duke looked back at Talaria. Small fragments were falling from her hand, and she had a frightening smile.

"Let's go back. Your Highness, I will escort you."

Duke Asteria was forced to nod at the voice full of killing intent.

"These deer stand out too much, so I will unsummon them," Talaria recalled the deer and was able to safely enter the capital with the carriage they had prepared.

The duke entered the palace again and briefly had an audience with the emperor. Then, he went to the banquet hall and returned to his room under the pretext of being exhausted. In the room, Denburg sat on the sofa with his tie slightly loosened.

“Oho, was the banquet so tiring?” The duke asked, pretending not to know. 

"You have arrived!"

Denburg quickly rose from his seat, and Duke Asteria gestured lightly and said, "Make yourself at home; you look tired. But I haven’t seen those glasses before.”

"Haha, it is because my eyes are tired." At the duke's words, Den sat back comfortably.

The duke went to the wine refrigerator and took out the rare wine that Denburg had obtained before the banquet, asking, "Would you like a drink?"

"Hahaha, didn't you say you were going to drink that with a valuable guest?" asked Denburg.

Duke Asteria smiled and said, "You're a valuable enough person. How about it?"

The duke poured the wine himself, and Denburg smiled and received it, "Then I will drink it thankfully. I actually wanted to try it."

The two wine glasses bumped each other lightly. Droplets of water on the glass of cool wine shined and flowed down to the ground.

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