As Aries and I aimed our magic wands at each other, the tension on both sides seemingly reached a climax like a tightly pulled bow. However, Aries and I withdrew our magic wands at the same time, and the group looked at me with curious eyes.
"It would be foolish to show unjustified hostility in the druid’s forest."
The castle was acting like a druid's forest using Merlin's magic. According to the literature, anyone who takes someone's life in the druid forest will be unconditionally penalized. Gargoyles weren’t living creatures, so attacking them didn't matter, but those people weren't. Aries nodded as if he were concurring and said, "I agree. Druids are a peace-loving violent people. It's completely illogical.”
Of course, even so, we couldn't let our guards down. It was always possible to deceive the druid's unreasonable standards.
"For now, let’s stop fighting. What did you all come here for? If we can make concessions, let's do so."
"Master!" At my suggestion, Percival looked at me as if this shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
- Calm down. We’ll only lose out fighting here. Our purpose is to protect the last queen anyway.
Personally, I was greedy for Merlin's research materials instead, but in the end, our purpose was elsewhere.
- That... that's true.
Percival nodded with a grim look on his face. It was clear that he didn’t want to hand over the relics of the Holy Kingdom, which he had protected all his life. Naturally, I also wanted to hog everything here. I don’t know about those people wearing the hoods, but Aries was a monster that I couldn’t simply ignore. Roughly, he felt very similar to the great madosas Arpen and Elder Mirpa.
"For the cease-fire, is it until we get rid of the druid's forest, or also afterward?" Aries looked at me interestedly.
"I think the former is natural, and the latter is also fine if we have different purposes."
Aries nodded casually at my opinion. "Good. I'm not as belligerent as the Crow Tribe, so it's a proposal worth considering."
The conversation went better than I thought. By the way, as a Crow, I was sad that I could not deny it when he said he was not as belligerent as the Crow Tribe.
Aries said his goal first. "My purpose is the last queen. To be exact, the lost magic that she will possess.”
Percival's eyebrows flinched at Aries's words. I let out a small sigh. Hillis was listening, and she appeared to be slowly realizing the truth. It seemed difficult to continue deceiving her until the end, so I just told the truth. "Our purpose is the safety of the last queen. It seems our negotiations have broken down. Our intentions are different, but the items we must obtain are the same.”
If it were ordinary magic, it could be divided by turning it into a magic book or something. At Aries’s level, he’d be able to obtain enough from just the magic book, but this was not the case for the magic of the Holy Tribe. The magic of the Holy Tribe was associated with the Holy Tribe’s lineage, so it would be impossible to learn using just a magic book.
Aries seemed to be aware of this fact and said in a flat and dry voice, "That's too bad. I haven't seen a good magician in a long time, but I’ll have to kill you.”
I didn't feel any emotion despite him saying it was regrettable. "We'll see who dies."
"How dare you!" Aries's subordinates were furious and tightly clenched their respective wands.
However, contrary to their responses, they did not immediately start a fight despite the negotiations breaking down. They knew well that one could not act rashly as long as they were in the magic of a druid's forest.
"Then, let’s go into the lab and deactivate the druid's forest."
Aries and I simultaneously touched the lab door and undid the lock magic. No matter how high its level was, the lock was easier to solve than the treasury's vault because it was an old method. The view inside the lab was more like a giant botanical garden than a lab.
“It was worth having it disappear.”
“As expected, it was worth having it disappear.”
Seeing the scenery inside the lab, Aries and I both expressed the same sentiment concurrently. The plants growing in the labs were only those that were terribly difficult to raise. They were all so rare that if Elder Mirpa had seen it, she would have drooled. If these plants were to be used as catalysts, no matter how effective they were, they would have died out.
"Fine." Aries nodded readily at my suggestion.
It was more efficient to cleanly divide these precious materials in half than to fight for a monopoly and risk destroying them. At least if you stored it in the pocket space first, the materials wouldn’t get damaged from fighting.
"Give me all the lotuses. Instead, I'll hand over all of this Laimondi."
At Aries's suggestion, I swept all the Laimondi into my pocket space and said, "Okay. Then I'll have all these Udumbara flowers instead.”
“Fine. Then I'll take the Belladonnas."
“What about the dried ants?”
“Let’s split it in half exactly.”
Aries and I peacefully combed through Merlin's lab and put all the magical ingredients into our pocket space.
"Hey, Master. Isn't this too peaceful? He's the one who said he'd kill you?”
Tristan looked at me dumbfounded. I shrugged lightly and said, "Who cares? It's not like we’re going to have a battle right now. Anyway, we can't fight even if we want to until the druid’s forest is undone.”
Honestly, if I was alone, there was no reason not to fight. However, it was questionable whether the others would be able to overcome the anger of the druid forest.
"Oho, you're not human. It feels like a dragon, but is it closer to something like a Dragonian or a Spartoi?" As Aries looked at Tristan with interest, Tristan was creeped out and took a step back.
"Ohh! Do you recognize it? The body was made using a dragon fang as a catalyst. It was refined with the dragonic force contained in a dragon heart."
Aries and I continued our conversation as we finished distributing the magic materials and began to rummage through the research materials.
"Hmm, was the mana refinement method based on alchemy? It's interesting that you created dragon tooth soldiers with a different magic, not necromancy."
It was an accurate assessment. Originally, dragon tooth soldiers were made using necromancy, but they had to be constantly instilled with death aura.
"I'm not a black magician, and I'm too lazy to constantly obtain death aura."
"That's smart. If it’s alchemy, it’ll take almost no effort to maintain it."
Aries nodded and asked, "Are you willing to be my disciple? I’m starting to like you.”
At Aries's suggestion, Aries's subordinates looked alternately at Aries and me, surprised. It was as if they'd heard something that couldn’t occur in this world.
"Well, I don't think I'm at a level where I need to be taught by someone anymore.”
It has been nearly two years since Elder Mirpa, one of the top madosas, told me that I was on my own now. I've walked too far on my path to ask someone to teach me.
Aries nodded calmly at my refusal. "Is that so? That's too bad."
Considering that he said it was too bad, his emotionless voice didn't seem to be disappointed at all.
"Oh, I found it." Looking through Merlin's research records, I found the Druid's Magic Book.
"Let's look at it together."
Aries and I sat in place and quickly looked through the magic book. The Druid's Magic Book detailed the requirements of the druid's forest and the location of its core.
The more you looked at the content, the more the magic seemed to boast of its dreadful difficulty. Although the druid's forest was powerful magic, with the effort it took to cast, one could use multiple magics that were more effective.
"It's inefficient, but how could it be this sloppy? Did people in the old days live thinking inefficiency was a virtue?”
When I was dumbfounded, Aries calmly corrected my words. "No. It was efficient when the World Tree existed in the real world. Try putting a constant energy source in this formula."
"Hmm, certainly, if it’s like that, there’s a lot less effort. But there shouldn’t have been a World Tree when Merlin cast the druid's forest?”
"It didn’t exist. Just looking at Zaharam right now...”
Aries and I argued for a long time and debated about the druid magic.
"Your knowledge is too limited in comparison to your skills.”
"But your mindset is too old."
Although we criticized each other, there was no denying that the other person was of great help in deciphering the druid magic.
"Are you done?" Hillis was leaning comfortably against the lab wall when she yawned and asked.
Looking around, Tristan was lying on a desk sleeping, and Percival was using the research facility to do pull-ups. This was quite the opposite of Aries's subordinates, who were on their knees listening attentively to the conversation between Aries and me.
"Hey, aren't you going to get up?"
I kicked Tristan on his butt to wake him up, and he stood while rubbing his eyes. "Oh, are you done? I was bored to death."
"What do you mean ‘bored?’ you were sleeping the whole time." No matter the fact that it was magically impossible to attack each other, I at least wanted them to remain on guard, but it seemed to have been a futile expectation.
“Master, what were you talking to the enemy for so long about? It was as if you’d known him for a long time."
"And you sleep in front of your enemies?"
When I looked at him in disbelief, Tristan shrugged slyly. "Hey, what’s wrong? You said they couldn’t attack us either. We all took a rest believing in Master. What do you think? This subordinate has absolute faith in Master’s words!"
"Ehew, you know how to speak at least. Get ready to fight."
"Yeah!" The group warmed up and readied their weapons.
I pointed my magic wand at the wall on the right side of the lab and told Aries, "I'll take the magic circle on the right."
Aries naturally pointed the magic wand at the left wall and said, "I’ll ask again before we destroy the druid's forest. Do you have any intention of being my disciple?"
"I still don’t."
This time, I did sense a little bit of regret in his voice. I felt it during the discussion with Aries, but there was quite a lot I could learn from him. It was one matter to learn from a senior who’d studied magic longer than I did, yet this was not enough to become his disciple. Above all, I was afraid of what Elder Mirpa would say after becoming someone else’s disciple.
"Let's get started."
Aries and I took turns counting and gathered mana.
Right when the count ended, we began to interfere with and destroy the giant magic circle responsible for the “Druid’s Forest” that surrounded the entire castle.
"It’s too fast!"
“Increase the output!”
“Reduce the mana consumption!”
"You're the one who should use more mana!"
We didn't work together very well but still succeeded in destroying the magic circle. The mana fluctuated in real-time, and the distorted space felt like it was returning to its original state. I moved away from Aries and aimed my magic wand at him. In order to attack Aries, I was gathering mana, but then a wave of powerful mana flew towards us from afar.
"Come over here!" At my cry, my group rushed to me without hesitation. The mana that was flying over was too vast to avoid.
I sent Hillis behind my back and built a shield with the mana I gathered as I shouted, "Get ready for impact!"
As I cried out, a massive ball of mana hit, and the lab disappeared. Half of the castle, which was apparently fine when my Crow Tribe ancestors ran wild, was completely crushed to dust.
"Flight!" We landed safely on the ground by casting magic on the people who lost their footing.
In the distance, a seemingly crazy woman was wearing an antique dress and holding a giant greatsword as she emitted black mana and growled. Percival saw her and groaned. "…Your Majesty the Holy Queen."
It seems like that crazy woman is the last queen.Previous Chapter Next Chapter