As the sun began to set, the streets of Asterium turned bright red, resembling the sky. Mirpa enjoyed the cool breeze at the top of the tall bell tower as she looked down at the view of the city she had visited just a few days ago. Following Doomstone and collecting extremely rare by-products wasn’t bad, but it also felt good to relax while calmly enjoying the breeze.
"Is this why the Youngest ran away from home?" Mirpa smirked and laughed at the sentiment she had never felt before.
When she was young, times were not as peaceful as they were now. It was a turbulent period where she had to fight, study, and become stronger to battle the beings known as demons that no one had ever heard of, brought by the Demon King. In an era where the lives of many powerful people faded away and the weak survived only when they became strong, such a peaceful future like this could not be imagined.
"He's such an old man.” She could not believe he ran away from home at such a young age in search of freedom when she was just now looking to have some leisure. No matter how much she thought about it, she was sure he must be an old man on the inside.
"Are you here?" asked Mirpa.
Bloody jumped on the wall of the bell tower. "I'm sorry for being late."
As Bloody apologized while standing on the bell tower railing, Mirpa looked at him pitifully and said, "What the hell are you doing when there are stairs?”
"Hahaha, it's quicker and more convenient to climb up the wall."
When Bloody became embarrassed, Mirpa snorted. "So you ran into the Youngest brat here, and you lost him?”
"Yes, I didn't expect Denburg to suddenly use that kind of explosive magic in the middle of the city."
Looking at Bloody scratching the back of his head, Mirpa looked down at the market street. "In the middle of that street, he used explosive magic substantial enough to make you fly away, and there were only small burn marks with no casualties?"
Bloody nodded. "Yes, I also asked William in Warrant, and he said it's not impossible, but the calculations are complicated.”
"That's when there’s plenty of time to calculate." Mirpa looked with interest at the burn marks on the far-off road and continued, "You said this meeting between the two of you was unintended. It must have been the same for Denburg."
“Yes, that’s right.”
Mirpa spoke seriously at Bloody's affirmation. "Then he used a magic tool. As far as I know, there are only five magic tools that shorten the time required for such complex calculations into an instant."
"Is that right?"
Even though she spoke seriously, Bloody was not a magician, and he did not comprehend the seriousness of the matter. Mirpa clicked her tongue at Bloody. "Tch, I guess I skipped too much information even though you're not even Hestia nor Denburg."
Mirpa explained it in a way that even Bloody could understand. "A swordsman is crazy about a good sword, right? To put it simply, the five magic tools I mentioned are the magician version of the four God Swords. That's how special and valuable they are."
Bloody nodded at Mirpa's intuitive explanation as she continued, "The Four Great Swords include the Holy Sword, Demon Sword, Spirit Sword, and Phantom Sword. The five magic tools are the life bracelet of the Witch of Pride, Druid Merlin's Prophecy, the Space Specialist’s Control Armor, the Giant Tribe’s Curse, and Arpen's 10,000 Year Icestone."
Mirpa folded her fingers down as she explained, speaking while looking down at the streets that were slowly getting dark. "Among them, Merlin's Prophecy and the Giant Tribe’s Curse are unaccounted for, but the locations of the other three are clearly known. The bracelet is owned by your grandfather Galak, and the armor and icestone are owned by the Space Specialist and the elementalists who made them, respectively."
Mirpa looked at Bloody as if asking if he understood now, but Bloody's expression made it clear that he knew nothing, so Mirpa explained more. "In short, Denberg, whether he made a deal or was sponsored, has a connection with the three people I spoke about."
"Aha! I see!"
Bloody clapped his hands as if he finally understood but then tilted his head. "So?"
Mirpa sighed as she looked at Bloody as he asked for more clarification. She didn’t expect him to figure it out before being given the answer like Den and Hestia. Still, she wanted him to at least think about the implications when told something, but was it that difficult?
"Hey, you stone head! I’m saying he's not alone right now; he might have a helper to take advantage of!” She began to miss her disciples, who would at least know one thing after being taught something.
"Oh? That's a big deal!"
"What am I doing talking with an idiot who only knows how to fight?" Mirpa shook her head and casually climbed over the bell tower railing.
"Where are you going?”
When asked by Bloody, Mirpa flew up with flying magic and said, "I'm going to meet one of the owners of the magic tools I mentioned. He ran into the Youngest in the capital, so I’ll ask if he knows anything."
After saying so, she began to fly quickly toward the Alps, where the Butterfly Tribe lived. Bloody stared blankly at the sight and scratched the back of his head. "Well, I'm sure everything will be all right."
He thought that even if something happened, it wouldn’t be related to him. Bloody leaned against the railing and watched the dimming streets.
* * *
"Hey Den, where are we going now?”
When Hillis asked, I answered, making up some parts of my story. "In the literature I read previously, it said there were some unknown ruins in this vicinity. So, I thought we could go tomb raid, khmm! Go excavate the ruins."
Percival looked at me and asked in private.
- Didn't you just say tomb raiding, Master?
- No, that can't be true. You must have heard it wrong. Or something came out weird because he was making things up in a hurry.
What tomb raiding? I’m merely going to pick up the items that are just rolling on the floor without an owner and keep them until the owner appears. Therefore, it was not stealing. Of course, of course. If the owner actually shows up, he'll have to prove he owns the item for me to return it, but it's not theft.
"Mmhmm, I see." Hillis nodded with a knowing smile.
"My pocket space is spacious, so don't worry, sweep it up, khmm! Let's excavate!" Hillis cried.
Tristan burst into laughter, and Percival wore a complicated expression.
"Puhahaha! Master’s friend is pleasant, just like Master! Hahahaha!"
"Master? Is Mr. Tristan Den's servant?”
Tristan shrugged at Hillis's question. "Well? It's similar, but the relationship between Master and me is determined by Master."
When Tristan spoke playfully, Hillis looked at me. Then, Tristan said, "To be precise, it's complicated, but the result is... It's just like being a hired hand."
"So, as a comparison, would it be like the relationship between Albatoss and me?"
I nodded at Hillis's guess. "That would be the most similar."
The paladins were no different from Tristan in that they had a master and servant contract with Hillis and had to follow orders absolutely. While chatting about one thing or another, we slowly reached the location I calculated.
- Master, this area is where Merlin’s castle that he used as a villa and a laboratory was located. But since we can't see it, it seems like time has run it out of business.
Percival looked into the empty space with disappointment. He seemed to have realized that he was living in an era where everything he knew from 500 years ago had disappeared.
- No. I think it vanished somewhere else, not disappeared with time.
I expected it to some extent after listening to Percival, but Merlin’s villa and laboratory seemed to be the place where the last queen was sealed.
"Everyone, stop. We're here."
Everyone looked at me with an uncomprehending expression at my words. What they saw in front of them was no different from the forest that they had seen so far.
"Master, it's just a forest?" It was such a perfect barrier that even someone with great senses like Tristan could not notice it.
"Look closely." I moved my hand carefully. The barrier that my finger brushed against shot a small spark.
I stuck my tongue out at the sensation I felt on my fingertips. "Someone came here first and set up the barrier. I don't know who’s inside, but they’re no joke."
At this barrier’s level, even ordinary madosa would kneel at the caster’s feet. It seemed that Aries was here. He was a person my aunt told me never to meet before I came up to the north. Come to think of it, this wasn’t strange if I remembered that Malecia, the Mercenary King, was at the ruins. Something just made me want to go back.
"Who dares!" But Percival was genuinely indignant and pulled out the spear I had given him.
"Let's go in right now!" Percival tried to force his way through the barrier with a strong aura all over his body.
"Where are you going?" I grabbed Percival from behind him. I've never seen such an ignorant guy. I was also someone who thought that brute force was effective, but that was only when I was sure of my superior skill and what the situation was.
"Do you want to die? If you go in there with only that much strong aura, you'll become full of holes."
Tristan also nodded at my words. "Calm down, Captain. I understand and agree with your anger, but this is a barrier that I can’t even sense. We need to at least get some information before we move forward."
Percival frowned and nodded. "I'm sorry. I think I lost my head for a second."
"I'll create a gap in the barrier for now, so just wait. In the meantime, wear these." I took a green helmet out of my pocket space and threw it at Percival, who was self-reflecting.
"What's this? It looks like a helmet, but it's very light and colorful. Do you protect your face with these black slabs? But where's the eyehole?" As Percival was touching and analyzing the helmet, I told him to just try it on and handed Tristan and Hillis a blue and pink helmet, respectively.
"Oh my, I knew you could use magic, but is it really at the level where you can even use a pocket space?” Hillis looked at me as if this was a surprise.
"Ahem, although I come across like this, I’m the master of the Holy Sword, so this much is basic."
"Ohhh, I'm covering my face with the black slabs, but I can still see clearly." Tristan wore the helmet and looked around in wonder.
It was a helmet with night vision magic cast on it so that one could see in the dark as if it were broad daylight. I spoke while putting on a black helmet from my pocket space. "Okay, from now on, you're Green, you're Blue, Hillis is Pink, and I'm Black. Combined, we will be known as the Public Office Force."
“But you're the only civil servant here?”
I began to create a gap in the barrier before me, ignoring Hillis's comments. Soon, a hole barely big enough for one person to pass through was made, and we could begin to see the castle in the distance.
"Iyaa, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it.”
Percival and Tristan were surprised to see the castle, and I jumped through the gap and shouted, "Let’s go! Public Office Force move out!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter