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 Return Home After Five Years #3

As Theo stepped forward, the driver looked at him with a pale face. Why had such terrible monsters appeared around a village like the Miller Barony? This was the first time he had encountered this in his long career as a carriage driver.

"Oh, Magicians! What is happening all of a sudden?"

"Mister, go inside the carriage. We will take care of this and come back."

"Please do so! Take care!"

As soon as Theo spoke, the driver entered the carriage. The driver's movements were swift due to his previous experiences with bandits and monsters. Theo wouldn't need to worry about the carriage.

Instead, he stared at the crowd of dead bodies coming this way. 'Goblins, kobolds, and orcs... The bodies of large monsters aren't visible yet. Is a warlock lurking around?'

By default, necromancy was a magic which required control. Uncontrolled dead bodies would attack living creatures indiscriminately, causing turmoil in the area. Then in order to ruthlessly oppress the whole area, the knights, magic towers, and fixers from the country in question would be dispatched.

So, most warlocks were reluctant to reveal themselves. It was because they weren't confident with a frontal confrontation and because the forces going against them were so powerful. Theo listened to his sensory perception for a moment, but he couldn't find the warlock.

"...It can't be helped."

If it was like this, the only thing he could do was sweep up the crowd before him.

Hwaruruk!

The magic power from four circles resonated in the air. It started with a small spark, then it changed shape into an arrow. A huge quantity of 100 fire arrows were created. It was the same amount of ice arrows Sylvia had created in the final match.

The weakness of the undead were divine power, light, and fire. The sudden appearance of fire caused the approaching corpses to pause. A body which had been dried up of its moisture would become good firewood.

Theo felt sorry for them, but he wasn't going to leave a single undead around his home.

"Go." As soon as he gave the command, the fire arrows fell from the sky.

Pyu, pyu, pyu, pyuuong...

It was a frightening sight and a real crisis to the undead. The dead bodies couldn't defend or avoid the attack, so the fire arrows struck them. The rotten skins of the undead were pierced, and the flames entered their bodies, causing a secondary explosion.

Peng! Pepeng! Peng! Pepepeng!

Their necks broke and their heads fell off. There were also torn arms and legs scattered all over the place. The goblin zombies fell to the ground, while the orc zombies stopped moving. Some zombies crawled like maggots after losing their limbs, while others turned into lumps of flesh.

It was a hellish sight, but Theo didn't show any signs of agitation.

'Their physical capabilities are low, and they don't use weapons. If it is like this, we can deal with 1,000 more.'

There were three factors which determined the completeness of the undead: their ability to reproduce the necromancy ability; the utilization of the techniques their bodies contained; and the intelligence they'd possessed during their lives. If all three of them were present, they would be advanced undead. With two factors, they would be intermediate, while if only one was present, they would be of the inferior rank.

By that standard, these undead had the lowest ranking.

Unless the undead's body was an ogre, he could deal with 1,000 more of these low rank undead. Theodore created another 100 fire arrows. Just on his own, Theodore turned the bodies at the front lines into charred masses with the 100 fire arrows.

However, more undead were surging ahead of the fire arrows.

Kuoooh~! A terrible roar emerged from their rotting lungs.

As Theo looked at the epicenter of the monsters, an undead monster ran out of the bushes. Maggots squirmed on its skin and in its rotten flesh. It had lost its eyeballs, and dark magic power flowed around it.

This creature was a type of 4-meter-tall bipedal monster who lived in a swamp or forest. He had previously seen them during the procession with the merchant company to Mana-vil.

"Troll...!"

Kuoooh-!

Yes, the troll roared and rushed forward.

-Pukwaaaack!

The troll swung its club, and a few unfortunate orc zombies burst like persimmons. There was almost no evidence of the troll losing strength after dying. Although it might have lost its natural regenerative power, it was still troublesome as an undead. Rather, some of the troll's weaknesses had disappeared thanks to becoming undead.

'Damn, Magic Bullet isn't good against the undead...'

These monsters would move even if their heads were blown off. There were some unusual undead like dullahans, while zombies and ghouls would continue to function unless their core was destroyed. Using something like Magic Bullet was like penetrating them with a needle.

He needed to use something big like Blaze Shell to blow away the whole body of the undead. However, 4th Circle magic couldn't be abused in a situation where the warlock behind it hadn't even been revealed.

Theo needed a way to defeat them without using a lot of magic. He needed to draw them together. It was at this moment that...

Shaaaah-!

"G-Guook?"

A water snake suddenly protruded from the rear and struck the undead.

"Liquid Snake?" Theo muttered.

This was the water attribute spell which Sylvia had used in the final match. The snake made of water twisted around the legs of a the troll zombie and started to tighten. The troll zombie's massive body held on for a while, but its bones soon broke. Its flesh broke as well and fell to the ground, turning into a pile of dirt.

Thanks to the troll zombie being taken care of, Theo had a moment to spare and looked in the direction that Sylvia was in charge of. He was curious about what destructive water magic she had used to clean up the situation.

As he realized what had happened, Theo couldn't help admiring her.

'...Hah, so it is like that.'

At the back of the carriage where she was standing, there were traces of a large water snake.

The floor was like mud. As the saying went, overwhelming mass was in itself a weapon. If there wasn't divine power, then pure physical power would be the undead's nemesis. Sylvia's Liquid Snake had wiped out all the undead, including the orc and goblin zombies.

Theo couldn't help being in awe. "Liquid Snake is a 4th Circle magic, but it is pretty fuel efficient. It would certainly be useful when dealing with cases like this."

Sylvia, who was manipulating the Liquid Snake, nodded as if the words had flowed into her ears. "Yes, my grandfather said something similar to Theo."

"Indeed, control type magic..."

It was different from fire which consumed a large amount of magic power to sustain the attack. Of course, magic power was consumed when condensing moisture and making the shape of the snake.

However, it didn't require a lot of magic power to control and maintain the water snake. It was different from fire or wind magic which would disappear if the control was disturbed even a little bit.

Although Theo didn't use water magic, he gained enlightenment in other areas.

'Mitra, can you do it?'

[Hoi!]

Mitra gave a cute answer and jumped out of his arms.

As an earth elemental, it was possible for her to gaze freely at the surrounding area by penetrating into the ground. Additionally, Theodore's magic power was the 4th Circle and close to the 5th Circle. Lastly, the most efficient attribute for control and maintaining the snake wasn't the water element. So, was it possible to reproduce the liquid snake in earth?

Theo's brain came up with an impromptu idea.

"Name... Earth Worm!"

Soil rose up steadily around Mitra.

Kurururung!

Mud, sand, and pebbles mixed into a lump of earth. The form which lifted its head was like a worm. Like Sylvia's water snake, this creature was a piece of artwork, but the coarse features meant it wasn't beautiful. However, he didn't care about such 'minor' problems.

"Wow..." Sylvia's mouth dropped open as a shadow covered the undead. It was the shadow of the Earth Worm under the moonlight. From their perspective, the body of the worm was at least a few dozen meters long. Even the undead which didn't have any intelligence stopped at the unreal scene as well.

In the middle of this silence, Sylvia smiled and asked, "By the way, can you control this?"

Her statement wasn't without merit. It was likely that any magician who saw it would mock Theodore's Earth Worm. Generally, the difficulty of control type magic increased in proportion to its size. Theodore wasn't brilliant enough to control something of this size.

Yes, but that was if this Earth Worm was 'normal' magic.

'Mitra, can you hear me?' As Theo's voice called out inwardly...

Wuuong~ The giant Earth Worm shook its huge body. Sylvia's eyes widened as she saw the familiar gestures. "Ah, perhaps...!"

"That's right. I created it, and Mitra is controlling it. This way, I can control it no matter the size!"

It would be impossible for an ordinary elemental with no self-consciousness, but Mitra was an ancient elemental. She could control the earth and had no choice but to play the role of the Earth Worm. This magic was possible due to both of them splitting the role.

Then in the next moment, the Earth Worm rushed toward the undead.

Kukukung...!

Kukukung...!

The earth shook!

Every time the Earth Worm landed on the ground, the undead would shatter into pieces. Trees fell, and the undead which the worm collided with all collapsed, regardless of whether they were trolls or goblins.

The Earth Worm headed toward the forest where the undead were flocking from and crushed them. The sight of the dead bodies in the darkness wasn't much different than a swarm of ants being trampled on. It was truly worthy of being called destruction.

If anyone had seen this, then no one would argue about which destruction attribute was the strongest.

Just three minutes later, a wasteland of broken undead and trees had formed. Judging from the devastation, the warlock hadn't been present in the first place.

"Amazing..."

Who could imagine that this scene was caused by a 4th Circle magician? Sylvia's admiration for Theo wasn't unreasonable.

The magic that Theodore demonstrated far exceeded common sense and was a trick which wasn't possible without many variables. Theo felt a little dizzy because he himself found it hard to believe.

"Ack!" At the same time, the body of the gigantic Earth Worm collapsed like a sand castle.

"Theo?" Sylvia moved forward toward Theo hurriedly.

He had a bitter smile on his face as he realized he had almost died from his magic core being exhausted.

Theo had experienced something similar when he absorbed all that knowledge from Gluttony. No matter how much he cooperated with Mitra, he couldn't completely eliminate the burden of Earth Worm.

However, instead of frowning, he made a pledge. 'It succeeded... Next time, I'll do it a little more perfectly. There are still many points to improve, so I will think about it slowly.'

He had a headache, but he also felt intense joy from the success of the magic he had envisioned. Theodore Miller's persistence, a persistence which hadn't allowed him to give up on the magician's path for five years, wasn't as common as Sylvia's lack of social graces.

***

After a while, Theo and Sylvia had recovered, and they opened the door of the carriage.

The shaking driver welcomed the two people. "...Oh, Magicians! You took care of all those ugly enemies!"

"For now. However, there could be more of them. We should leave as soon as possible."

"Yes, I understand. I'll start straight away!"

The drive paled and quickly picked up his whip from the driver's seat. It was better to drive the carriage in the night than to see those terrible monsters again. The driver swung his whip and made the horses run faster.

Dakadak! Dakadak!

The surrounding landscape, which had become a wasteland, passed outside the speeding carriage.

"Huuuu..." Theo sighed as he glanced at the scenery.

The anxiety he had forgotten about for a while due to the excitement of the battle had returned. 'Calm down. Based on this number, the undead haven't been active for long. The warlock and undead have only appeared recently. No matter how remote the Miller Barony is, I would've heard about a catastrophe.'

He tried to calm himself logically, but who could get rid of their anxiety so easily? Then he realized that blood was coming out from the fist that he had unconsciously formed.

The joy he'd gained from the success of Earth Worm was receding, and Theo looked at the darkness with shaky eyes. His home lay beyond the darkness, but he didn't know its current state.

In the end, he couldn't suppress a curse from emerging, "Damn."

This journey was gradually sinking into a bog.

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