Hillis had done away with the walls of the carriage as she drove into Zaharam in a now open carriage. Accompanying her was Leisha, she created barriers with magic where the walls would have been and looked at the carriage with amazed eyes.
"Wow, was it capable of opening like this?” Leisha said in admiration.
Hillis shrugged. "It's a special pilgrimage service carriage from the temple. It's nice and cool to ride it like this!"
"I think the sand will come in though?"
"If it couldn’t even stop that much, it would be undeserving of the word 'special'. Do you see that over there?”
There was a magic circle drawn where Hillis was pointing. Leisha was amazed by the magic circle.
"It's a magic circle that even blocks dust depending on the size. If they were going to engrave something like this, I'd rather they put magic to make it cold inside." Leisha pointed.
It was really the height of inefficiency. Hillis smiled bitterly. Even if she wanted to, those spells were listed under forbidden magic as they had been banned in the past.
"I see the wooden fence! Be careful!"
At the paladin’s warning, the servant who was riding in the carriage with them, crouched between the carriage chairs. They determined that it would be more dangerous to leave the servant alone outside of Zaharam just because she was a non-combatant. So, she had had no choice but to follow along.
Standing at the front, Leisha aimed her magic wand at the wooden fence.
"Fireball! Ten shots!"
A series of fireballs as big as camel heads were fired from the magic wand.
Kwang! Kwang! Kwagwagagwang!
The wooden fence was blasted apart and burned down at once.
Leisha resisted the power of the World Tree governing Zaharam, she started feeling tired as a result of using magic.
The flames created by the fireballs quickly died down under the power of the World Tree.
"Are you all right, Miss?!" holding a bow on the wagon and guarding the surrounding area, Mac asked.
"It's okay! It's much more comfortable than in Olympus Forest!" Leisha replied.
At least here, she didn't have to worry that magic would suddenly make a U-turn and attack her. Using magic in Zaharam felt like running in a space with five times the gravity. Although difficult, it was not an environment where magic could not be used for a magician at her level.
“Still, it's harder than in the village,” Leisha muttered as she got ready to use magic again. She had to be prepared in case magic was shot at them at any moment.
The initially nervous paladins couldn’t help but be dumbfounded by the sight inside as they passed through the broken wooden fence.
It was because black magicians were already fighting against paladins.
"Die, dirty black magicians!"
"Keuk! Devastating Wind Blades!"
Ten paladins holding large shields blocked the black magician’s magic as they continued to cut down the black magicians.
Albatoss had thought it was going to be a lonely fight, now, he couldn't hide his confusion.
"What is this?"
They hadn’t even informed the temple and rushed to recapture the Holy Land from the black magicians, but the support forces were already here.
At that time, one of the paladins in battle raised his helmet visor shocked.
"Paladin Albatoss?! How come you are here?!"
The face beneath the raised visor was one that Albatoss knew.
"Paladin Mario! How come you're standing here?"
These people who were fighting the black magicians first were paladins following Cardinal Fernando.
Fernando was a hard-liner priest working with the capital as his base. As such, he never thought he would see them in Zaharam, so far away from the capital.
Mario tried to say something to Albatoss, but stopped to block a black magician’s attack with his large shield. With that, Albatoss realized his priorities and drew his sword.
"First, we will take care of the black magicians!"
The paladins on the camels rode fast and quickly began to cut down the black magicians. Thus the black magicians began to attack Hillis’s paladins.
"God, protect your children!"
For those paladins under her that did not carry shields, Hillis performed defensive holy magic.
The sight astonished Mario.
"Sa... Saintess?! No! Paladin Albatoss! Are you out of your mind? How could you have brought your Saintess to the battlefield!" Mario reprimanded.
Albatoss swung his sword looking ashamed.
One black magician was killed by Albatoss's sword.
"Sorry! Paladin Mario!"
Mario bit his lips at Albatoss's apology.
"Eagle squad! As of now, we are changing priority from destroying the altar to safeguarding the Saintess!"
The paladins under Mario moved in their squad and surrounded the area to guard the carriage that Hillis was on.
Perched atop the carriage, Mac looked for Malecia amid a battlefield filled with paladins and black magicians. He clicked his tongue. "Chet, he isn't here as I thought.” He wanted to try fighting him again if possible, so it was regrettable.
Mac shot the arrows and hunted the black magicians. Each of his arrows struck and cut through in between the brows of the black magicians.
Mouths agape, the paladins admired Mac's archery skills as if there was nothing left for them to do.
"Paladin Albatoss, just who is that person?" Mario asked admiringly
Albatoss took a moment to look for the apt explanation and then replied, "He is Miss Saintess’s guest."
Mario was genuinely concerned. "Are you sure of his identity?"
Apart from Mario's relationship with Hillis's older sister, Vibrio, the position of Saintess was too important in the temple. It was impossible to allow anyone near the Saintess without knowing their identity with certainty.
"I'm sure. If we hadn't been sure of his identity, would we have let him approach Miss Saintess?"
After Hillis had offered to have them join their party, Albatoss, had confirmed Leisha's identity by looking at her identification card without Hillis's knowledge. Thus, he believed that they were from the Crow Tribe. Moreover, he was convinced by Mac. And above all, being that strong at that age, it was impossible not to believe it.
Mac had been constantly shooting arrows from atop the carriage, he came down below the carriage when he ran out of shots.
"Are you out of arrows?” Leisha took the arrow out of her pocket space and asked.
Mac flashed his characteristic sly smile. "Yes, that’s the case. It doesn't look very dangerous, so I think I’ll go jump in." He pulled out his sword and tried to run toward the group of black magicians.
As Leisha stopped Mac, he cast her a curious look. Leisha spoke as she descended from on top of the carriage.
"I'm coming with you."
Mac looked at Leisha incredulously and said, “It could be dangerous.”
“That's right!” Lancelot agreed with Mac.
Leisha, seeing Lancelot’s worried gaze, patted his head and said, “It's okay. I'm pretty strong too, you know?”
“I know that, but—”
Leisha smiled at Lancelot.
"And besides aren’t we curious as to what the black magicians are trying to do in places like this?”
The reason why Leisha wanted to go with Mac was because of her the intellectual curiosity of the magician within her.
Lancelot nodded determinedly. “Then I'll go too!”
Leisha honestly couldn't trust Lancelot.
To be exact, he was reliable for common sense and knowledge outside the forest, but she did not want the delicate Lancelot to witness the bloody battleground.
Sensing Leisha's thoughts, Mac patted Lancelot's shoulder. "I leave my back to you."
Lancelot answered vigorously, "Yes!"
"Oppa!" Leisha looked at Mac in surprise. When Mac fought, he fought alone and was never someone to easily hand his back to others.
Mac shrugged at Leisha. “Even though Lancelot looks like this, he is about as good as a warrior from the village.”
When Leisha looked at Lancelot with astonished eyes, awash with embarrassment, he scratched his bright red cheeks. Playing with Den and often getting caught up in Doomstone's education had naturally strengthened him.
Lancelot's words helped Leisha nod.
"Sir Paladins! We’ll be right back. We're going to go sightseeing for a little bit!”
Then Mac began to run forward. Lancelot and Leisha also followed with a sprint.
Unlike the outside, Zaharam was not a desert but solid land, so it was easy to run.
"Wa... Wait! Paladin Albatoss! Is it okay to let them go?” Mario asked.
Albatoss smiled meaningfully. "It'll be alright. Miss Saintess’s guests are strong."
Mario briefly glanced at the trio who had run over before refocusing on the battle, holding the shield against the fierce attacks of the black magicians.
Mac was dashing to the center of Zaharam cutting down the black magicians. He asked Leisha, "Now, where shall we go?"
As Leisha used magic to obstruct the black magicians’ magic, she shot back magic bullets. The use of magic was suppressed by the power of the World Tree, but that was true for the black magicians as well.
“Over there! I can feel a strong mana wave over there!"
The place she pointed to was the temple in the middle of Zaharam. The black magicians blocked their way to the temple.
"You mustn't let them enter!" a black magician said.
Mac whistled at the sight.
"Wow, so kind."
It was like telling them that there was something important there.
"Let's go! Lancelot!"
As Mac pointed his sword and rushed amid the black magicians, Lancelot followed, drawing his sword.
Black magicians gathered black magic and fired magic bullets, but Mac and Lancelot both avoided them with light movements. Thanks to that, the black magician's magic bullets flew straight at Leisha.
Leisha shouted as she tried to block the sudden mass of magic bullets with a barrier.
"You’re able to deflect them! Deflect it!"
She wouldn't have said this if this was outside Zaharam, but it was unnatural to use magic inside Zaharam. It was like running in the water.
"Oh, my bad!"
Mac and Lancelot had overlooked the fact that Leisha was slow because she was a magician. So, instead of dodging the magic bullets, they charged into the group of black magicians. The duo cut down the black magicians one by one, securing each other’s backs.
Thanks to Leisha's magic that hit the group of black magicians from time to time, the black magicians blocking the way were quickly wiped out.
Lancelot and his party quickly started heading for the temple again but stopped when they were right in front of it.
"Phew! This is getting exciting.”
Mac felt tense at the powerful mana that was seething out from inside the temple. So it was inevitable that the corners of his mouth would go up.
Leisha tightly gripped her magic wand at the mana that leaked out of the temple. She had only felt this much magic when Elder Mirpa was actually angry or when Denburg had used his magic blast while escaping from the forest. Feeling a force two to three times the power of her own magic, she gulped hard.
Lancelot clutched the two swords in both hands and said, "Let's go in."
Lancelot was the first to step inside the temple. He was fully aware of how powerful the power coming from the temple was. Nevertheless, the reason he was the first to move was simple.
"There's no time to lose here."
He had to go deal with the black magicians inside quickly so he could go see Den.
At the sight of Lancelot's imposing gait, Mac and Leisha followed with a smile.Previous Chapter Next Chapter