Just waiting is honestly really tiring. My body won’t last if I keep getting depressed like this every time Lotson-san brings in a new report. And so, I have come to the library to relax. I liked this place ever since I was really young. It’s really calming, being just appropriately narrow and even that wise old man Moran is here.
What book shall I make him introduce me to today…? Now that I think about it, I haven’t been able to read many books recently.
“Oho? It has been a while, young master.”
“It has already been a week since I got back, though. You don’t come out of the library so I don’t get to meet you much, do I?”
“I am just an employee here, there’s no need for me to show my face, now is there? And besides, I can hear all kinds of news even while being locked up here, as well. Looks like you have been dragged into something quite noisy lately.”
Old man Moran replied as he kept on reading his book. Where does he get all these info anyway? He has always been weird and mysterious like that.
“It feels nostalgic, reading books together with you like this.”
“You haven’t aged as much as to feel nostalgic of the past, have you?”
“I guess that is also true.”
“How about it, young master? Shall I teach you about various things since it has been a while?”
I had come to the library to relax but talking to old man Moran like this somehow swirls up my thirst for knowledge. It has been a while after all, so I guess I will obediently take him up on the offer.
At last, he closed his book, and came towards me.
It seems like he was looking forward to this as well.
“As you have been feeling exhausted recently, I shall teach you some good barrier magic. Seems like a lot of people come trying to make fun of you so this might prove helpful in defending yourself.”
“Barrier magic, eh? I am looking forward to it.”
“Well then, let’s start right away. I will be teaching you elementary barrier magic today. First, put in mana into 3 places around the resident evenly s.p.a.ced and come back.”
He wouldn’t say anymore before I did that, so I obliged.
I was especially good at materializing mana. Mustering up densely packed magic, I stuffed them into the soil.
After accurately selecting three points so that it would make an equilateral triangle, I carefully executed the work.
When I went back to report to old man Moran, I found him waiting there with his eyes closed. Looks like he was detecting the magic.
“Hmm, very thoroughly done. Very well. Next, we tie these 3 points. Can you detect the 3 points of mana you stuffed?”
“Yes, I can.”
“Try imagining tying those points into the sky.”
Mmm, I don’t really understand well but I tried releasing the mana points to tie them up in air. Will this be fine?
“Hmm, hmm, that’s good. The height is about 5 meters now. We want this to be 15 more meters high. Can you merge them up at the top?”
“I could still go on.”
Just as he wished, I went exactly 20 meters high and stopped there.
With this, a triangular pyramid of mana should have formed.
“Lastly, we will change the magic’s nature. We would change it to holy nature but, you haven’t done that once yet, have you?”
“Yeah, this is my first time hearing about it.
“Well, it is quite simple. Purity. Try pouring in your sincere feelings, it will change into holy nature.”
Sincere feelings? How do you do that?
Bad person, don’t come! Is this okay?
“Oooh?! You’re doing it, you’re doing it. That’s well, it’s done. With this, people with ill will can’t enter the mansion easily.”
“Glad to hear that. It is pretty simple, isn’t it?”
“Right? … but, one wouldn’t be able to do it normally, though.”
“Normally one would need to go through a year of training to be able to do this. And even then, they might not be able to build such a barrier. It’s even better than the ones I make…”
…Hmm? Did I overdo it again? I have been doing that a lot lately…
“Why would you make me do such a thing?”
“I thought you would be able do it. And you actually were able to do it. As expected of the young master.”
“Stop it, old man. I feel like I took another step towards being a weirdo.”
“Hohoho, I do not think changing is a bad thing, you know. For now, the barrier is also done so you can rest at ease from now.”
“Old man, you’re mean. I guess I will rest for a while. Quite a bit of my mana was taken away, after all.”
“It would be good for you to sleep. While sleeping peacefully…”
While feeling somewhat uneasy seeing how old man Moran said that like he was talking of the future, I left the library behind me.
“Wait, young master.”
“Mm? What is it?”
“It’s about your mana’s element but…”
“No, hmm, just that it’s a element I had read about somewhere… I feel like it was quite important… Mmm… I forgot. Well, it’s fine.”
No, it’s not, is it?! I am really curious now!!
Well, it would do no good to bug him if he can’t remember so I just prayed he would soon. Please, make it soon.
My noisy father also went to sleep and Lotson-san was heading out. The night outside was peaceful and silent, and I had gone to bed early because of that, but to think such a thing would happen so suddenly at this timing.
While I was sleeping on the bed, suddenly, I could hear a loud sound which made me open my eyes.
There’s no doubt. There’s someone who got caught in the barrier… 4 of them. I can tell they are quite skilled. Tension rushed throughout my body. It is a barrier which wouldn’t catch anyone off unless they have ill will. It is the enemy, without a doubt.
4 people during the night… is this an a.s.sa.s.sination…?
I jumped up and tightly grasped the sword close to me.
And rushed towards the 4 people who were caught by the barrier.
There they are! Just as I felt, there were 4.
“Umm… why do you guys already have wounds all over your body?”
I came resolved to clash with the 4 but the they were already all b.l.o.o.d.y and crawling on the floor. Why? There shouldn’t be any guard dogs in our house.
“d.a.m.n it!! What is this absurdly strong barrier?! This is my first time seeing such a thing!”
The eye-patch man said, standing up.
…….ehhhh?! You got done in by the barrier?! The one I built in the afternoon?!
“Aniki, what do we do? Do we go on with the mission?”
“Of course. Fortunately enough, the stupid target came out of the barrier by himself. There’s no way us 4 siblings can mess up a job. Luck is also on our side, let’s get this over with.”
3 men and one woman. They all have weapons all around their body.
I can tell that they are quite skilled.
I was planning on ambushing them but if I lose focus even for a moment, there’s no doubt I would get killed.
The four came rushing in. With perfect timing. One can tell that they have trained quite a lot together.
I have no other choice but to deflect them with a wide scope magic here.
And as such, I materialized a flaming dome of wall. As expected, they didn’t overextend and all 4 of them got down. They really are good.
For some reason, one of them collapsed.
“What happened, little brother!?”
The little brother with a scar on his forehead spit out blood and fell down. What happened here?! I am pretty sure my magic didn’t hit!!
“Aniki, the barrier’s damage is nasty… As I got done in by the barrier first, I received the most damage too…”
It is still working? I kinda feel bad for them now.
“Darn it!! You rest, we 3 will get him.”
Even after one of them fell, they came attacking with perfect cooperation.
They came using magic, and once I had dodged that, another came throwing weapons. And before I realized, they had closed in and I had no other choice but to deflect their attacks by sword. Blocking, deflecting, dodging, I also took them on with all my force. The fight was always on the edge.
After a series of blocking and attacking, they were the first to change.
“d.a.m.n! They didn’t say anything about this guy being so good!”
“Aniki, this guy isn’t just another n.o.ble.”
“I am running out of stamina so I will be going with that. Get ready!”
“Aniki, if you use that, it will create a lot of noise.”
“Just do it! At this rate, as time pa.s.ses, we might be the ones done in first.”
It seemed like they were planning something different now, as the little brother with a scar on his forehead had also joined them.
The only female member among them started chanting. I know that she can use magic from the fight earlier. Judging from how long her chant is, something big must be coming.
If so, I just have to start attacking myself.
After using flame magic towards the 4, I went charging towards the woman myself. While they would be dealing with the flame magic, my sword would reach the woman… or at least be able to stop her chanting.
However, something unexpected happened here.
The eye-patched aniki came charging towards me, taking on the flame magic head on.
I had no choice but to brush him off with my sword first. Although it is a short sword, he easily fell down taking in the damage from the slash and magic in it.
“Impossible! I guess it was a foolish plan, after all…”
Even though it was to defend the chanting, that was too stupid. I have not used any half-a.s.sed magic. Of course he would be lethally wounded if he took it on completely. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop the chanting with this but at least one of them is definitely unable to fight now. Counting the one who almost got beaten by the barrier, this makes two of them almost unable to fight.
“Fuhahaha! You’re an idiot! Now the spell is complete.”
The eye-patched man said, crawling on the floor on the verge of death.
The woman’s chanting was complete and an enormous amount of mana broke forth.
The mana poured into the 4. This was my first time seeing magic like this.
“This is the end. It will get a little noisy but the number of people who didn’t die after I activated ‘G.o.dification magic’ is zero.”
The woman boasted about her victory. Her physical appearance slowly started to change.
Her shoulder width began to grow and her muscles started to bulge. Her skin started to turn red and a strong burly horn appeared on her forehead. By the time the transformation was complete, there were 4 monsters of 2 meter height standing there.
“I told you, right? You’re an idiot.”
…Even the eye-patched guy, who was lying there like a dead bug had revived. He should have been on the verge of dying.
After seeing this, even I couldn’t stop sweating.
It was really close even before.
Even the guy with the scar on the forehead had revived now.
“I don’t have much time so I will be finishing this quick.”
With their best smile on, the 4 siblings came charging in.
Their speed now was on a completely different scale.
They all came attacking at the same time with astounding speed.
–dodge it?! That’s not possible!
Should I make a dome with magic like before?! No, I definitely won’t be able to make it.
s.h.i.t, they are too fast. I am being able to think of various situations despite that but my body won’t react in time.
…Guh, this is bad!
Their attack didn’t even take a second to reach me. All four hits. .h.i.t me in my vitals.
Without even being able to feel pain, my body flew.
Human bodies fly so easily… I feel like my consciousness will also fly off any moment now.
Ah, I am seeing a revolving lantern now, the scenery is shifting so slowly.
I am supposed to be flying at an intense speed right now but for some reason it feels like I was taking a walk in the air.
It’s over. This is definitely game over. I lived a good life. Although I lost to authority in my last moment. You did your best, me.
A lot happened but the curtains close with this.
No, looks like it still isn’t over.
My body crashed into the floor and intense pain ran through my whole body. I received four unreserved attacks from monsters. It doesn’t look like I will be able to get away with this easily. If I were to show my damage taken by ribs broken, it would definitely be about 6… no, let’s make it 8. Even 10 is possible.
“See? You’re at death’s door now. Son of a b.i.t.c.h, making me even use the G.o.dification. I can’t move my body for a whole week if I use this.”
“Like I… care…”
This is bad… I want to talk back but I can’t even speak properly. My throat feels dry.
“Finish it before somebody comes. We also need time to break the barrier.”
The guy with the scar came near me. Compared to his giant hands now, the short sword he was gripping felt even shorter. Even though it felt like that, there’s no mistaking that that weapon can prove to be fatal for me. He will probably pierce my heart with it.
I need to move. I need to run. But… my body won’t listen to me.
There is nothing more that I can do…
“See ya later, young n.o.ble!”
He swung the sword downwards and my heart was pierced.
……I feel really sleepy.
I will probably run out of energy soon enough. I tried looking around with the little strength I had left. The barrier was still working. They probably won’t be able to get through it easily. Besides, even old man Moran is inside. Rahsa is also there. They surely won’t go down easily. I am sorry I couldn’t be of help.
Well then, I guess I will take a nap.
Ah… did another of my rib bone break?
Mm? No, this is the magic stone I brought from the stone Rahsa introduced to me. Even that tough stone broke from that monsters attack. Ah, I even paid quite a lot for it.
The magic stone didn’t break from the attack. I somehow brought the stone into my sight.
This stone… was it always this color? Was it this greyish white? And rather than being broken, it feels like its insides have turned to sand. This…?
Ah, I might have got it.
I ate it. Me.
I needed mana so I unconsciously sucked it in. I did hear it had quite a lot of it… Wow, what an appet.i.te I have.
But, it doesn’t matter now. Blood is pouring out from my heart. This really is the last—
“You were the strongest opponent we faced recently. Think of it as an honor.”
It seems that I still haven’t died, as I could hear such a voice faintly.
I am surprisingly quite tough, huh?
……Did an earthquake occur just now? No, this is just my body shaking, eh.
Is this how one dies? What is this?
At that moment, my body rose up, as if to deny gravity. My consciousness came back, clearer than ever.
I can feel all my senses getting sharper.
My pierced heart… the wound had closed and blood stopped dripping. Was it all an illusion? There’s no way. This is weird.
As I tried putting in strength, this time my body started floating. My body is overflowing with strength. This feeling… it’s the same as that time when I sucked in mana. Why is this happening now? Moreover, I feel stronger than before.
“What? Why are you getting up again? And even floating?!”
As the guy with the scar was still nearby, he noticed the abnormality and again came trying to thrust his sword into me.
I blocked it off with a mana wall. The sword couldn’t cross the invisible wall. I just blocked this monster’s absurd strength with just mana. The opponent’s speed to which I couldn’t even react before, looked slow to me now.
“This guy… what is this mana?!”
The other 3 also came charging in.
They couldn’t stay as composed as before now, and weren’t hiding their confusion towards my change.
“What is happening?!”
They asked, not directing to particularly anyone. Well then, I shall answer.
“…I also don’t really understand.”
Honestly, I would like to know myself. Why is my mana rampaging so much? I can feel an excitement I have never felt before.
“You brat, are you fooling with us?!”
“I am not. But, it seems like a lot has gotten better. Seems like my broken bones have also been fixed. My heart too, see? The wound’s closed.”
The eye-patched guy lost his composure seeing this unusual phenomenon. However, with one signal, the four came attacking again with their combination moves, from all sides.
With this speed and power which can even break a boulder. And four of those.
There’s nothing I can do. Can’t even block. Or so I thought.
Or so I thought but, I could see their movements all too well.
I blocked off these four attacks with mana wall from all four sides as well.
None of their attacks could pa.s.s the wall. They were pitifully powerless.
“Impossible?! What is going on?! What the h.e.l.l is going?!!”
“This is it. It’s over. I am hungry.”
I was almost unconscious. If someone were to ask me how I did it, I would say I don’t know. I just somehow, did it. That would be the most suitable response.
As I extended my hand, the s.p.a.ce distorted.
A whirlpool of mana came out in the air.
“I will be taking that.”
As I projected my hand out grasped the air tightly, the whirlpool revolved and in a twinkle, mana was being sucked in.
From people, and from nature.
I can feel my stomach getting full.
“What?! My strength is…”
Their G.o.dification broke. It would be more appropriate to say that it was broken. By my hand.
“We should still have plenty of time! Why?! Why?!!”
The whirlpool’s revolution didn’t stop.
Even after sucking in the G.o.dification’s mana, the whirlpool didn’t stop before their mana dried up. The surroundings didn’t change but they were certainly being drained, by me. And then, everything fell silent.
“Fuu, thank you for the meal.”
The day began, I woke up from the bed and washed my face.
After having breakfast, I looked at the scenario outside the mansion for a while.
I poured myself a hot cup of tea and headed underground while it cooled off a bit.
“Umm, we are berry chorry! And cho… can we habe cham breakfast too?”
The 4 siblings were there, beaten to a pulp.
The ones who did whatever they pleased yesterday night.
“Eh? What did you say?”
“….No, nothing, sir.”
Seems like they sensed my anger. It saves me the trouble if they are perceptive like this.
“Ummm, when can we be released…?”
“Eh? You think I will let you go? After trying to take someone’s life?”
“….We are sorry!”
My tea should probably be cooled off to a nice temperature by now and so I went to drink.
“Ehhh?! Are you leaving us? Seriously?! Are you really not going to let us go?!!”
After drinking the tea, and some light exercises, I went to the bas.e.m.e.nt again.
“Ummm, what shall we do…?”
“…Sorry. I am scared so could you please talk normally?”
“Eh? Is something off?”
“…The difference between that kind voice and the fully open eyes is really scary, yes.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“….I am sorry!! We got ahead of ourselves. Umm, we were the strongest in our area and also unparalleled in the capital so we became conceited! We were employed by a big n.o.ble and so ended up thinking the world is ours. We are very sorry!”
“We are sorry! The world is really big! We never thought handsome Kururi-sama would be this strong. Hah, we were really a frog in a well, huh?”
“Handsome… eh? Continue.”
“Ah, yes. Um, so what shall we continue?”
“What did you come here to do? Spit out everything you know. Who is your employer? Spit it all out and add pig b.a.s.t.a.r.d to the names.”
It seems like the eye-patched guy was trying to be professional, as he seemed to be worrying and hesitating to speak.
“Eh? You won’t speak?”
“Sorry! That kind tone and eyes are too scary so please stop! Our employer is the Dartanel house’s Brau Dartanel!”
“Ha? Did you not hear what I just said? Add pig b.a.s.t.a.r.d to it.”
“Eh? Ah, yes. Our employer is the pig b.a.s.t.a.r.d Brau Dartanel.”
“Very well. Was your mission to kill me?”
“Yes. And also your father and Toral-dono. That was all pig b.a.s.t.a.r.d Dartanel asked us to do. Ah, also, his son, the pig b.a.s.t.a.r.d Fregen Dartanel said to specially torment you before killing!”
“Oho? Very well.”
So they have finally resorted to manual labour, eh. They want this land that much. And they are that greedy. There is probably no need to forgive them anymore.
“Alright, as reward for spitting it all out, I shall give you breakfast. Will apple’s skin be okay?”
“No! You can’t do that to us!”
“Eh? You don’t want it?”
“No, please, we want it!”
“So, the stem? Or the seeds?”
“….The skin, please, thank you very much.”
I kept squeezing out information from them after that, as well. More and more. All about the Dartanel family’s evil deeds in the past. However, they didn’t know about the important part, about what the Dartanels were planning on doing now. Seems like they don’t have any interest in things other than their job.
“Kururi-sama, umm, when will you be releasing us?”
“Ah, after I ask old man Moran if he knows any brainwashing magic, and if he does, I will release you after I use it.”
“Please, no! Anything but that!”
It seems like they really didn’t want that as they started to make a racket so I decided not to.
“You guys will be living in the Helan territory from now on. I will give you some land so quietly live there. I won’t forgive any trouble. You do understand, right?”
I released the noisy 4.
I don’t have time to be doing these.
I need to search for Eliza.
Difficulties just keep coming one after the other. If this keeps up, when will I ever be able to find Eliza? Can I not meet her again?”
Days went on as I kept worrying endlessly. Lotson-san and Rahsa were also getting tired day by day.
It’s no good at this rate. But, what should I do?
…At that moment, a strange letter arrived in the mansion.
I opened it without hesitation and read it.
The events after that were all too sudden. History’s worst-ever calamity striked.