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 Slavers Raiding Mission #3

High elves were the most secretive of the elven species who were covered in mysticism. Those who didn't know would think they were an upper tier of the species, but that wasn't entirely correct.

A long time ago, Arv's blood experienced atavism and the elf became a high elf.

Their natural strength was the reason why all kingdoms coveted high elves and secretly detained them.

A low voice emerged from Vince's mouth, "...Three months ago. I heard that the Pilar River, the lifeline of Austen, started to dry up."

In the heart of the Austen Kingdom, an incredible river flowed through the desert. Pilar River was the driving force behind the Austen Kingdom functioning as a nation. It was literally the lifeline which allowed the inhabitants of the desert to thrive.

However, the river had dried up. Every 60 to 100 years, a drought would arrive and kill the kingdom. It was a disaster which couldn't be predicted through magic. It was the reason why the national strength of Austen didn't increase over a certain level. There was always a limitation since they had to gather food and water to prepare for the drought.

However, things would change if they had a high elf.

It is a reasonable conclusion. High elves were a species that enriched nature just by being there. Their power turned poisoned swamps back into clear lakes and caused blades of grass to grow in rocky mountains. Even if they couldn't completely resolve the drought, the situation in the Austen Kingdom would improve.

As descendants of Arv, the high elves' inborn strength was truly wonderful. As natural elementals, they were able to cause miracles just by breathing. They cleansed poison and grew vegetation, and could moisten dry land and grow any crop. That was difficult even for the great elementalist, Myrdal.

Above all, the Austen Kingdom needed a justification to kidnap a high elf since they risked Elvenheim's wrath.

"I don't know how much power is in this convoy, but I know how desperate you must be to disguise it as slavery."

"You will still block me despite knowing this?" The Janissary's sword trembled.

He wasn't part of the [Shackler] organization. A Janissary despised sins and assisted the rulers with their accumulated knowledge. For the sake of Austen, they were servants who obeyed their ruler loyally. So, he hid in this kingdom in disguise under the belief that he would eventually solve the disaster. The mission had to be accomplished, even if he threw away his life.

As Vince kept that determination in mind, he nodded. "I don't know your situation. It would be a few times better for me to save the abducted high elf and gain favour from Elvenheim."

"If you just close your eyes, the Sultan will repay the favour."

"How funny. Are you asking me to become an accomplice?"

It was Meltor's loss, no matter how he thought about it. Elvenheim was different from the distant Austen. For a kingdom which was antagonistic to the Andras Empire, the emergence of a new adversary was fatal.

On the contrary, what if Vince rescued the high elf and brought them back to Elvenheim? It might led to a strong ally in this tug of war. In short, Austen didn't have anything to offer Meltor for negotiation.

"...I understand, I'll have to take care of you here." The Janissary understood this fact and suddenly lifted something into the air. Vince tried to stop it, but the action was too sudden.

Piing... peeng! The Janissary sent up a signal flare.

He couldn't allow this magician to live even if it meant making enemies of the Meltor Kingdom. A kingdom facing the Andras Empire would have to avoid an all-out war with Austen. As long as the high elf was transferred to Austen, it wouldn't matter if his head was taken.

'He is willing to die. These guys are annoying.' Vince clicked his tongue as red flames appeared in his hands.

It wasn't difficult to deal with the Janissary in front of him, but the reinforcements would come thanks to the signal flare. So, it would be annoying if Vince didn't kill him before that. He had to use 'it', even though it was still incomplete. His six circles spun as he realized there was no other way.

"Blaze Burst!"

"Å℃CE!"

The curtains of the grand finale rose in conjunction with the pillar of fire.

***

On the other hand, Theodore's fight was reaching the end.

'...It feels like this. I understand.'

Indeed, this experience was different from fighting monsters and undead. It was a fight which required precise timing and techniques. His body quickly absorbed the techniques it received from Lee Yoonsung. The techniques were based on the six concepts of the eastern continent.

Swaeeek.

Theo leaned back gently, and a blade passed right in front of his nose. He barely avoided the damage. Theo's fist struck the guard's chest, and the guard flew back while coughing up blood. Then Theo's speed and power accelerated thanks to Sonata of Speed and Rhapsody of Power.

"ÅCÅCG!?"

"C¥Ȼ£!"

'Maintain the gap!' After shouting to each other, the guards were more vigilant. Two people had already died because of the magician. The five aura users had been reduced to three, so they became increasingly desperate.

Rakon also realized the reality. 'I'm screwed. This young bastard is so strong...!'

Theo was fast and strong. If the aura users maintained the distance between them and Theo, they would be attacked by powerful magic. However, going into close range would cause them to be hit by strange techniques.

The daggers Rakon was so proud of were meaningless if he couldn't even use them. Despite being surrounded, the brat had dealt with the situation like he had eyes in the back of his head. The most Rakon could do was cut off a few strands of hair.

Goosebumps ran all over Rakon's body as he sensed he would die here.

'Run away while they buy time-' Rakon's judgement told him that he should run away to avoid death. As he prepared daggers for a diversion, horrific bolts of lighting emerged from Theodore's hands.

It was the 4th Circle magic, Chain Lightning! Chain Lightning, which was amplified by three times due to Memorize, drove away the darkness of the night. It was a magic lightning bolt which could turn a person to ashes just by touching it.

The two warrior guards close to Theo instantly stopped breathing, while Rakon, who had retreated a few steps, was hit in the right leg.

"Kuaaack!" As he rolled to the ground, he experienced terrible pain. Rakon could endure stab wounds, but it was the first time he was hit by lightning.

Was this the most excruciating pain the human body could feel? The pain burning through his nervous system was no different from professional torture. Even drinking expensive healing potions wouldn't cure the wound easily.

In the end, gaps like these were fatal to those unfamiliar with fighting war mages.

'It is over.' Theodore thought as he wiped away the blood on his fists. This was more boring a fight than Theo had expected. It wasn't magic but the feeling of cutting of life with his own hands and feet. He couldn't help feeling a little uncomfortable, even if it was inevitable. As such, in the middle of the fight, Lee Yoonsung's and Alfred's styles had mixed together slightly.

Then Theo pointed his index finger at Rakon.

Piing! It was the end of the boss who reigned behind Bergen. However, the moment Theo tried to bury the body, something dark emerged from Rakon. Before Theo could react, the ominous shadow was sucked into his body.

[A powerful curse has infiltrated your body.]

[Gluttony scoffs at the poor curse.]

[Gluttony's owner isn't affected by the curse. The curse has been neutralized.]

Nothing happened. It seemed like Rakon had tried to curse him. This was the effect of the infamous black magic artifact, 'Companion of Death,' but to Theo, it was as harmless as drinking sour milk.

Rakon couldn't achieve what he desired, and even his revenge failed. In a sense, it was the proper ending for his bad karma.

Theo buried the unseemly corpse. It didn't take long for all the guards of the second barracks to collapse.

***

The process was rapid and successful.

The eight guards defending the two barracks as well as Rakon's men had been defeated, and the elves were freed. Fortunately, there were no elves who were too injured or exhausted to move. The slaves had value, so they had been handled carefully.

The problem was why did the elves, who had been caught by humans, follow Theo?

'What is this?' Theodore looked back with a bemused expression.

There were four elves following him like a chick following the mother bird. It was different from the elves who treated other species coldly. These elves followed Theo's instructions like he was their superior.

Theo was curious. So, naturally, he asked about it.

-We can feel the aroma of dirt from you.

-We love the earth.

-Please lead us to that person.

...Those were the answers he heard.

'The scent of dirt, loving the earth.' He could guess only one thing from those words.

Theo stepped on the ground and felt the presence of the earth elemental, Mitra.

Did it mean her presence was so great that Myrdal's contract gained an unexpected application? It was said that it was difficult to become close to elves even with an elemental, but their attitudes seemed to be of holding Theodore in great honor.

However, Theo also didn't know who 'that person' was. Theo's curiosity eventually got the best of him, and he asked the blonde female elf at the front of all the elves, "Excuse me, who is that person?"

"Delphinas of the Blue Evergreen Tribe will reply. That person is the blessing born to our tribe, the light of all life. The prophet saw it, and the sky danced."

Theo still didn't know what Delphinas was talking about. "Can you tell me in an easier manner?"

"Perhaps you know of that person under the name of 'high elf'."

"Ah, I see... Ah?!" Theodore was intrigued by the sudden conversation and heard a word which couldn't be missed.

'High elf?' He only had a smattering of knowledge from the books in the library, but he was well aware of the value of their existence. An elf born with such a mutation was an astronomical probability. As soon as they became adults, they were moved to Elvenheim and protected by their own people.

If they were ever caught by other species, Elvenheim's elite warriors would move immediately.

'For a high elf to be held in this place...!'

If the situation were less tense, Theo would like to talk a bit more. However, it seemed like there was no time.

Kukukukukung...

A fearsome fire pillar rose in the distance. It was a powerful magic event which caused the ground to shake and the mana in the atmosphere to struggle. The firepower of a 6th Circle magician dyed the black sky red. The elves shook as they were more sensitive to mana than humans, while Theodore was worried about his teacher.

The battle on the other side was also reaching a turning point.

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