Aries stared at his five subordinates and disciples, speaking indifferently, "You’ve come?"
There was no anger about them arriving late and making their teacher wait. However, there was no feeling of affection or interest either. He sounded as if he was just reading from a book.
The disciples did not mind the indifferent tone that lacked any interest. "Yes, Great Teacher.”
They just had a desire to learn magic and receive his teachings.
"Did you find what I ordered?" Upon Aries’s request, the five madosas knelt in unison.
"We are sorry! The Alps were too wide...”
"And while avoiding the eyes of the Butterfly Tribe...”
"If you could give us a little more opportunity...”
The five madosas who were usually admired and respected by any magician trembled and asked for forgiveness. It would have been no exaggeration to call a madosa a one-man corps, but none of them could remain confident in front of Aries.
"Useless things." There was not a shred of anger in Aries's voice. Yet, his robotic tone terrified the five madosas.
"We are sorry! Please forgive us!"
Their fear stemmed not from death or any impending punishment. Rather, even if Aries punished them and they died, they were happy and confident in ending it.
"Please punish us!"
At least them being punished meant they were receiving his attention. What they were worried about was that Aries might no longer feel they were useful and would not pay attention to them; thus, they would no longer receive his teachings.
They would rather die receiving punishment than lose Aries’s interest and not be taught. They hoped to be punished somehow and pleaded for forgiveness.
"Crazy guys..." Malecia muttered as he watched the madosas bowing, scraping, and begging for death, as their failure led to the mission being delayed.
Search missions were often within a narrow timeframe, but he sighed when he saw them tremble that much. He shook his head, thinking that none of the people who learned magic were normal.
"That’s enough." At Aries’s words, the madosas’ hearts seemed to drop.
"Now that the ruins of the last queen of the Holy Tribe have collapsed, the secret place will have its mana slowly cut off and be revealed. Keep searching for the traces."
But Aries’s following words made the madosas feel as if they had come back to life.
"Yes! We will not let you down!"
"We will find it with our lives on the line!"
The madosas shouted once more with eager faces, and Aries shook his hand in annoyance.
In response, the madosas left with flying magic and scattered to various places in the Alps.
Malecia looked at Aries’s disciples flying away and asked, "There's a fine parfait store in Asterium. Would you like to go?"
At Malecia’s recommendation, Aries nodded silently. There was a saying that one should give their boss sweet food if they were in a bad mood. Wait, was it not the boss?
Malecia’s memory was briefly confused, but he led his men to Asterium because good things were still good.
* * *
It was the day after I was told the ridiculous notion that the entire adventurer's guild headquarters was being sent to the Asterium branch. I started preparing for a business trip over the weekend.
"Another business trip?" Milpia crossed her arms and asked while leaning back against the wall.
I was dumbfounded to see Milpia like that. "How did you get in here?"
I was currently in the magic workshop that I obtained by selling Count Druval’s corruption ledgers to my aunt.
The value of the workshop itself was far less than the value of the corruption book. This was because it was a noble’s slightly worn-out residence near the boarding house and was renovated to give to me. Instead, she offered me rare magic materials and blacksmiths to make things for me free of charge.
To my question, Milpia shook her hand with the spare key I gave Aunt Talaria. "Big Mama-nim gave it to me.”
I put a lot of magic on the key to prevent any copying, so the spare key that Milpia was holding was the one from me. There was no way the Big Mama Information Agency could duplicate my spare key when they couldn’t even copy a single noble’s identification card.
"By the way, why did you put such tight security magic around here? I would have died without the key! Isn't this almost at the level of the imperial palace?"
Oh, I thought the security magic was activating earlier. It must have been Milpia wanting to attempt to sneak in. I assumed it was a petty thief.
"The palace’s defenses are similar because they overlaid magic on it like crazy, but my security magic is much more sophisticated."
How dare you compare my security magic to that magic circle? This was a grave insult towards me.
"Ah~ Really?" Milpia looked at me as if what I said was absurd.
"So why are you here?”
At my question, Milpia handed me a briefcase. "I heard you're going to Asterium this time and that it was upon the duke's request?"
"Big Mama told me to tell you to be calm and not make trouble when you go to Asterium. Inside the envelope is information about people who should never be touched or contacted.”
I wonder who they are if even my aunt is telling me this? I opened the envelope that Milpia gave me right away.
The document was full of personal information about someone. The person was wearing a hood and a black mask in the portrait, similar to a wanted man. The portrait sketch was so obscured that I didn't even know whether this person was a man or a woman.
"Yes, she said that person is especially dangerous, so don't try to fight them and run away immediately. We haven't figured out their exact identity yet, but I'm sure this person is a great madosa level monster at the minimum.”
Great madosa, you say. Those are monsters that I should never associate with. I’ll have to read through the information on this guy later carefully.
I flipped through the documents while listening to Milpia. "Huh? This ahjussi is..."
Among the documents in the back was information about a man named Malecia. This ahjussi was definitely the self-proclaimed black knight I met at the Holy Tribe ruins who seemed to have hit puberty late.
Milpia looked at the page I was looking at and asked, "You mean the Mercenary King?”
According to the contents of the document, it seemed that he really was called the Mercenary King. Looking at his distinguished military service as a mercenary, he could receive at least general-level treatment if he was employed as a soldier in a kingdom. I thought he was just role-playing, but it seems he really didn't want to be called the Mercenary King, so he was calling himself a black knight.
"He is quite tough as well. If you exclude Aries from the people listed in the documents, he would be one of the most dangerous, not any weaker. Most of all, his survival skills are so proficient that you shouldn’t mess with him if you want to avoid future troubles."
According to the information, he was a specialist who succeeded in his missions multiple times despite purposely being sent to dangerous places to be killed. His feats included rescuing a captured prince from the enemy by himself, leading a single squad to the enemy camp, and assassinating the leader. He succeeded in stalling the enemy during a battle by leading a ragtag squad and defending against division-level troops for a week.
"Wow, he's so persistent. I guess he’s not called the Mercenary King for nothing."
I've only seen merits like these in Guild Director Glont's military service records. I don't know why such a man was doing mercenary work.
"Is this all of your business?" I asked.
Milpia shrugged lightly and put down the bag she was carrying. "And this is the first batch of magic materials you've asked for and the stuff our craftsmen made."
"Woah! I assume it’s been completed?” I excitedly picked up the bag that Milpia put down.
"But what are you trying to make? I checked with the magicians at our organization, and they said they couldn't figure out what you’re attempting to create." Milpia openly admitted to digging up the information I gave her.
"Of course, it's a secret. It's understandable that you can’t comprehend the drawing because I explained it in a way even the great madosa level monsters wouldn't recognize. So, you don't have to be hysterical towards the magicians."
Milpia frowned. "I'm not hysterical.”
Having been raised by my aunt, this daughter probably won't behave well. If she learned from my aunt, she would be fluent in pulling one over someone’s head without them knowing it. I waved my hand lightly. "Goodbye, then. I won’t see you off."
Milpia left the room with a sour face when I said goodbye. When Milpia completely left the residence, I checked the contents of the bag she left behind. "All right, everything is here."
After confirming that everything was in order, I hummed and headed to the basement of my magic workshop with my bag. The basement was an area inaccessible even with the spare key that Milpia had.
Unlike the security magic installed outside the mansion, I paid a lot of attention to the security in the basement. Even if my aunt wanted to come in recklessly, she would have to risk her life.
It was a pity that I couldn’t make a perfect fortress, as it hadn't been long since I started building the magic workshop. However, normally, a magic workshop was like a magician's alter ego that he built throughout his life.
I placed my bag on the desk I put at the end of the fairly empty workshop. Then, I assembled the parts in the bag and took out the cores of the golems containing the souls of the knights from my pocket space.
I connected the assembled parts with the core and called out the dragon tooth soldiers. "Summon, Percival."
A summoning circle was created in the air, and unlike other dragon tooth soldiers, a man with a strong impression came out instead of a skeleton.
At my command, the dragon tooth soldier who was a little taller than me knelt down. When I touched the back of the dragon tooth soldier's head, the back of its head split open, and a space opened up. I put a core in the head.
"Open your eyes, Percival."
The dragon tooth soldier opened his eyes at my command. "Ugh! This is?"
The Dragon Tooth Soldier Percival dizzily grabbed his head where the core was.
"Stay still. You’re dizzy because I'm synchronizing the core with my pocket space so that it won't be demolished even if the head is destroyed."
When the synchronization ends, even if the head is completely destroyed, revival is possible as long as there are enough materials.
"You must be... Wait, what language am I speaking?”
I smiled lightly at the confused Percival. "It's the current imperial language. Although I can speak the ancient language, it’ll sound like I have a heavy accent, so I updated your language.”
Language was like a living being, and vocabulary changes over time. The dialects of the same country were the same language but also were different because language changes depending on the region.
"Thank you for that. Honestly, I didn't understand half of what you said in the ruins. I didn’t really believe you could do it."
That sounds about right.
I made a full-body mirror with magic and asked while showing Percival his reflection, "So how do you feel now that you’ve regained your senses?"
Percival was surprised as he touched his face with his hands. "It's just like when I was alive. It's amazing. I feel as if I've come back to life."
"That's because I saw and reproduced the memories of you and your colleagues."
Then, Percival gave me an expression as if he chewed on a bug. "I wish I hadn't heard that. Do you have voyeuristic tendencies to be peeking into other people's memories? Evil man."
"The voyeurism was just so that I could create the form of your body during your prime. I'm not interested in the memory of you being dumped by a woman 20 years older than you when you were 12." Of course, I chewed some beef jerky and watched with interest while saying this.
"You...! Evil man!"
Looking at Percival shaking his hands in anger, I patted his shoulder. "Learn to precisely control your mana flow gradually. I have to get ready for my business trip."Previous Chapter Next Chapter