Malecia broke the neck of the black magician who was trying to make excuses, tossed aside the corpse, and stared around. Then, he approached the black magician who had sand dust on his clothes just like his dead mate.
"No! Not me!"
Malecia grabbed and shut his mouth blocking all excuses. Then, he grabbed his shoulder and pushed hard to snap his neck.
"You bastard! What are you doing?!” The old man roared and glared at Malecia, but the latter simply looked down at the spectators with cold eyes.
"Ninety precious soldiers died in order to protect these insects. Don't disappoint me any further.”
“You dare! You’re nothing but a powerless swordsman insect. What?! Don't let you down? You think you can say whatever you want just because you have that person’s favor?!"
Malecia closed his eyes for a moment then opened them. He spoke in a low voice, "Didn’t I tell you not to let me down?"
A black magician, seated on the ground, stood up and shouted. "Ha, so? What are you going to do about it?"
At his cry, other black magicians rose from their seats and joined in.
"You bastard! You definitely must be crazy to dare kill a magician!"
"He just wants to die!"
Malecia laughed at the fact that these black magicians, who would not have dared to make eye contact if it were one-on-one, were shouting angrily with glaring eyes.
"I don't want to talk to you anymore. I'm leaving."
The black magicians flinched at Malecia’s words.
Right now, the Saintess and paladins, the natural enemies of the black magicians, were just around the corner. So if Malecia didn’t protect during the ceremony, they had no idea of knowing just how many of them would die.
Malecia turned and was walking away when an old man guarding the altar caught him.
"Carnelian, yes, did you find the carnelian crystal?!"
Malecia stopped walking at the old man’s shout.
Malecia's answer brightened the black magician’s complexion. This was a justification for holding back Malecia.
The old man said in a bright voice, "Then this place! So—"
Before the old man finished speaking, Malecia cut him off without so much as a backward glance. “Go talk to that person about this.”
With that, he left the room.
Hillis gathered the paladins and began the meeting. The topic was, of course, what to do about the black magicians who seemed to have occupied the Holy Land.
"We have to charge in right now! How can we allow the Holy Land to be occupied by the dirty black magicians!"
At the words of one paladin, another shook his head.
"No, I understand that sentiment, but the first thing to think about now is Miss Saintess’s safety. If we charge in, who will protect Miss Saintess?"
Another paladin spoke as he folded his arms, "We can do it if we leave a section to protect Miss Saintess while the rest attack."
The paladins turned noisy.
"Quiet! We are in the presence of the Saintess!" Albatoss roared.
The paladins shut their mouths and looked at Hillis. This was because, despite all this chattering, Hillis’s decision would determine their course of action.
While contemplating, Hillis glanced over at Lancelot’s party and asked, "What do you all think?"
The paladins’ opinions were all predictable anyway. Therefore, it would not be a bad idea to listen to the opinions of people with a different perspective.
"Well, I don’t know. I've never learnt military strategies or tactics,” Leisha said.
"It's okay. I just want to hear the opinions from those outside of the temple." Hillis smiled playfully. In the first place, it was not a question of how to fight, but a question of whether to fight. It wouldn’t be too late to consider strategies after.
"May I say something, then? Your Highness, Saintess."
Hillis nodded at Mac's words. "Of course."
"If you decide to attack, I'd like to move separately.”
"Yes?" Hillis didn't understand just who he wanted to move separately.
Knowing that his explanation was probably lacking, Mac explained further. "So what I mean is that I'd like for Miss Saintess’s party and us to attack from different directions.”
Having gotten the point now, Hillis shook her head. "No, this is our work. We can't put you in danger because of our situation." She was already feeling bad about getting them involved with the black magicians previously, so she definitely didn’t want to make them do this.
But Mac put on a sly smile. "No, aren't we already in the same boat? Let's just go together." He couldn't miss out on such a fun opportunity. In particular, he wanted to fight against Malecia again, the so-called Mercenary King. He was annoyed when they fought, but on second thought, he thought it seemed fun.
It was shallow, but even in the Crow Tribe village, there were only a few who could last that long against Mac.
"How about Sir Diplomat? Don't you want to fight?”
"I don't really—"
Mac put his arms around Lancelot’s shoulder and cut him off from saying that he didn’t want to.
"Hey, Sir Diplomat says he wants to fight too.”
"Nuoo!" Lancelot denied it but couldn't get the words out properly because his cheeks were being sandwiched by Mac's arm.
Leisha smacked Mac on the back hard with her magic wand.
"Ow! It hurts! Why are you hitting me?”
As Mac rubbed his back and looked at Leisha, she prepared to swing the magic wand again. She said, "Did you or did you not say that you would follow Lan’s opinions?”
"Oh haha, I did. But—" Mac looked towards Lancelot with a sad face.
Lancelot sighed seeing Mac's face which resembled that of an abandoned puppy. "Phew, let’s fight together if you decide to fight."
"Hahahaha! Thank you!" Mac hugged Lancelot as if he had barely managed to receive the present he wanted.
Lancelot spoke in a tone of ‘since I’m giving you a puppy as a present, you should be the one to take him for walks’. "If they decide not to fight, then we are just leaving."
"Of course!" Mac was all smiles.
"Will it be ok?" Leisha asked with a look of concern.
"Yes, we’re late anyway. If we split here, we will have to go back to the oasis village and find a guide first anyway.”
Lancelot wanted to quickly go to the capital and find Denburg. He didn't want to waste any more time.
"So what would Miss Saintess like to do? We can give you advice on how to fight, but there's nothing we can say about whether to fight or not since we don't know how important the Holy Land is to Miss Saintess and your paladins."
For the Crow Tribe, if the Holy Land Zaharam was like Doomstone or his successor Denburg, they would send out everyone, weak and strong, to defend them no matter how many died.
Hillis was troubled by Lancelot's words.
"I... want to protect the Holy Land."
It may have been just greed, but it was what Hillis really wanted. She didn't want to see the Holy Land in the hands of those insolent people even for a moment. It was all the more so when the hands belonged to the evil black magicians.
The paladins affirmed Hillis's desire. "Our swords will always carry out the will of the Saintess." They drew their swords in unison and saluted Hillis.
Hillis spoke with a hardened face, "Get some rest for now. Save up your stamina. The attack will be at dawn." Then she lowered her head towards Lancelot’s party. "We will gratefully receive your help.”
"Are you going to let him leave just like that?" a black magician asked the old black magician guarding the altar.
The old man clenched his teeth. He was the only one who could stop Malecia by force, but his mana was all tied to the altar. He sighed as he glanced over the surrounding black magicians.
They had no talent. Even if they went out to stop Malecia right now, would they be able to even deal with his soldiers, let alone the man himself?
No, the old man was doubtful. If it weren't for the fact that this place was Zaharam, he felt that defeating the soldiers would not only be a simple task but he could also make Malecia crawl in between the black magician’s legs.
But Zaharam was a place that the temple called the Holy Land. The power of the World Tree that filled Zaharam was deadly to the black magicians.
The old man rubbed his chest. On it was a necklace similar to the one that hung around Malecia’s neck.
The power of that person, a great magician, did not yield to the power of the World Tree. Rather, it was a power that even forced the World Tree’s power into submission.
The old man had no doubt in his belief. The ceremony he was doing now would create a new future for black magicians. It would make that sl*t and her followers that threatened them, kneel before them.
In his heart, the existence of that person was already a belief like faith. And he was the truth.
The old man closed his eyes and swept over the altar. This beautiful formula was the path to believe and follow. It was the target of reverence. He opened his eyes and spoke in a low voice, "We are starting the ceremony now."
The other black magicians were agitated.
"No, the preparations are not ready yet!"
"Even if we were ready, what about the carnelian crystal necessary for the ceremony?”
The old man passed between the black magicians and approached the two corpses of the black magicians that were laying on the floor. He then put his hand on the chest of one of the bodies and began to absorb the mana.
"Kulkulkul, greed is the essence of man."
The black magicians turned pale watching the old man's behavior and tried to run away. What he was doing was something that even black magicians regarded as an implicit taboo.
"You dare! This is a place where the great darkness dwells, so everyone stop moving!"
With the old man's magic incantation, everything was shrouded in darkness except for the altar and the black magicians.
The black magicians despaired as they were surrounded by endless darkness. They wanted to tremble in fear, but even such an instinctive act could not be done in this space.
"Keulkeulkeul, yes, yes. I'll give it to you quickly so don’t rush me."
The old man felt that when mana was created, it was quickly absorbed into the altar. He looked dotingly at the altar that was greedily extorting mana and slowly approached the black magicians.
They wanted to yell, "Get away from me right now!" but couldn't budge as if time had stopped. Without being able to move a single eyelid nor even their pupils, the black magicians died like mummies after having their mana drained.
When all the black magicians died, the old man sucked in all the darkness and it disappeared.
He shouted with a joyful voice, "Starting the ceremony!"
As if resonating with the shout, the altar trembled and began to emit light from the magic formula that filled the altar.Previous Chapter Next Chapter