Chapter 72 - Convoy from the Capital #2
Regardless of Theo's and Ellenoa's intentions, the procedures of the convoy proceeded at a rapid pace. The magicians shook away the fatigue of the massive space movements and were ready to leave in an instant.
They would be accompanied by a high elf. High elves were symbols of the elves, and there were said to be less than 10 in the whole world. If Ellenoa died in the Meltor Kingdom, there would be repercussions from Elvenheim.
It was confirmed that it had been the Austen Kingdom which had tried to capture the high elf, so they still had a grace period left.
Herman gave a formal goodbye to Earl Bergen, "...Thank you for your cooperation, Earl Bergen. His Majesty will keep your loyalty in mind."
"Ohh, such glorious words! I was just doing my duty as a servant of the Meltor Kingdom. Herman, you don't need to give such flatteries."
Indeed, it was the eloquence of a noble family. The earl's smooth answer humbled himself without losing his dignity. However, Herman merely waved his hands. "Hmm, I understand. Excuse me."
Unfortunately, Earl Bergen wasn't aware that Red Tower magicians didn't care about things like that. Instead of giving the anticipated answer, Herman indeed left the earl's office, and only the sound of the wheelchair's rolling could be heard. There was no time to build up a relationship.
Herman's wheelchair rolled at a fast pace until it stopped in front of an old man. There was no need to mention the identity of the old man wearing white robes.
Elder Shugel of the White Tower looked down at Herman and clicked his tongue. "How can a conversation end in less than five minutes? Did you just throw a few words at him? A person should use his mouth to get good treatment."
However, Herman didn't agree and scoffed at him. "Stop talking nonsense. If I keep talking with that guy, we will be delayed at least for two hours, and won't that be foolish?"
"What is? Aish, it is no use talking to you. How can I teach manners to this ignorant man?"
"At any rate, we can use teleportation. Don't you know the importance of time? I'll think about it if you give me a pair of useless legs."
Herman knocked on his loose pants, and Shugel was forced to step back. How could he refute someone who didn't even have legs to walk around? Even excellent healing magic wasn't enough to regenerate lost limbs. The two elderly men were always arguing like this.
It would've continued for 10 more minutes if Vince hadn't intervened with a bitter smile. "Elder Herman, I need to talk to you."
The two elders stopped quarreling as if they had been waiting for this. The fierce frowns and wrinkled expressions went away. They didn't actually have any bad feelings toward each other. After doing this for almost half a century, it had become like a daily routine.
Shugel turned away first. "Hmm, then I'll return to the capital first and we'll meet again there. The wind power may be a bit burdensome for you... Well, at this age, your joints probably feel sore. Isn't that right? Hahaha!"
"That damn old man...!" Herman stared at Shugel's back but didn't try to catch him to start another fight. They were elders of the Magic Society and knew how to partition things.
This was proven by the fact that a calm expression appeared on Herman's face. "Yes, what did you need?"
Vince started to tell the story he'd heard from Ellenoa the other day. He had been accompanying Theo when she told them. Despite a 'question and answer' with Gluttony, they hadn't been able to find out the truth behind the incident. More than anything else, the information they had was too lacking.
Herman's expression became serious as he heard the story.
"I roughly understand." Herman accepted the information with a tense expression. "It is true that the agents from Austen kidnapped the high elf, but something separate killed her guards?"
"Yes, that's correct."
In the first place, abducting a high elf wasn't that easy. Any mutant high elf would be noticed by Elvenheim as soon as they were born, and it was a rule to send elite warriors to escort the high elf to Elvenheim. The elites were of a warrior class among the peace-loving elves and were equal to aura warriors.
They weren't at the level that a unit with only one Janissary could kill. Yet Ellenoa hadn't been able to meet her guards.
"The escort from Elvenheim were eliminated without anyone knowing?"
"Perhaps. Ellenoa was caught by the Austen agents while waiting for her escorts. It would be simple for her to escape, but her friends were captured as hostages, so she couldn't help being caught."
"Hrmm... It is hard to judge. There are too many things we don't know."
The two people contemplated it for a while but couldn't come up with any answers.
"It can't be helped." In the end, Herman came to a conclusion. "We need to move quickly. It might've been quiet for a few days, but if they haven't given up on the high elf, just the power here can't guarantee her safety."
"Isn't it better to stay here?"
"I would do that if there are no reinforcements coming."
Herman didn't lose his calm despite finding out about the threat. He noticed Vince's confused expression and tapped his forehead. It might be different for the other magic towers, but there was only one person which a magician of the Red Tower would trust with their lives.
"The Tower Master has been sent somewhere, but she is hurrying to join the convoy. If we move toward the capital, we can meet up with her sooner."
"Ah...!" Vince nodded at Herman's words.
If they joined Veronica on the way, there was no need to be afraid of anyone. If the enemy were strong enough to kill Veronica, they would all be dead no matter where they were. Otherwise, Veronica would turn the enemy into chunks of charcoal.
Vince had been full of concerns about his disciple, but he could now calm down.
"Why are you feeling assured? Aren't you leaving your disciple here?"
"I can't do that." Vince smiled bitterly at Herman's question. "If 'that bastard' is tracking the high elf, it is likely they will come to Theodore. It would be safer for Theo to join the convoy and head to the capital."
"I understand, but you will stay here?"
"I will grab the ankles of the enemies aiming for my disciple. If they come to me, I can hold on for a few minutes."
Vince was ready to die at any time. However, he didn't want to die in front of Theodore. Additionally, if his disciple were killed, then it would be the worst shame of Vince Haidel's life. A wounded person was a burden on the battlefield, so Vince couldn't join the convoy.
He was determined to remain alone in Bergen and risk his life to slow the enemy down.
Herman nodded vigorously at this attitude. "I can't stop someone who has already decided. Do your best to defend yourself. We will safely escort your disciple along with the high elf."
The two of them shook hands. Rather than acting like senior and junior, they respected each other as war mages who lived in the same era. Both of them might have withdrawn from active service but the pride engraved inside was still the same.
Thus, the two war mages split apart at the crossroad.
* * *
Unlike normal wagons, the White Tower magicians climbed into the back seat and shouted in a loud voice, "Now then, let's go!"
Simultaneously, the three wind turbines moved the wheels in turn. The wind coming from the magicians at the rear caused the sails to blow up halfway, as it started to move at a speed similar to a horse-drawn carriage.
Theo was astounded as he watched the process. "Wow, almost one hundred magic spells are used to drive this wagon... What is this obsession?"
Magic to adjust friction of the wheel, magic to balance the body of the carriage, magic to reduce air resistance, magic to automatically adjust the direction with wind...
Theo was convinced that he could buy dozens of artifacts with the money and effort used to make the wagon. This was the crystallization of the madness which desired that wagons ran on wind power.
Theo looked back and forth while watching the wind power. 'Moreover, there is tight security. It would be hard to come within 50 meters even with Canis' level of stealth.'
As the wind blew, Herman and the Red Tower Magicians proceeded around the border while also sticking closely to Theo and Ellenoa. They could buy some time even if a Master level enemy attacked.
Due to Vince telling them about the enemy, the vigilance of the convoy was at its peak, and they would continue moving with maximum vigilance until Veronica joined. As the wind increased, the wagons created by the magicians of the White Tower started to reach its full speed.
'What is this?'
After hearing the strange wind sound, Theo and Ellenoa cried out as they looked out the window.
"Oh my god...!"
There was hardly any inertia inside, but the landscape outside the window was passing by at a truly terrifying rate. It was a speed which quickly distorted the trees and bushes. Theo now understood why they had been warned not to reach their hands out. If they hit something at this speed, there would be enough force to break their bones.
Mitra was also shaking as she looked out the window.
Her eyes spun around like a vortex, as if she was dizzy by the scenery passing at a fast pace. Theo grabbed hold of her small body while analyzing the principles of the wind. The more he looked, the crazier the wagon seemed.
'I understand the principles behind it, but I can't follow it.'
Theo was convinced after a short moment that this was a feat only possible for those who devoted their lives to wind magic and were at least of the 5th Circle.
It was easy to blow wind into the sails and accelerate. However, they needed to take care of the air resistance and headwind while making sure that the power didn't scatter. It was like using five different spells at the same time.
Rather than using magic, it was a technique closer to controlling magic power.
"...Maybe we really will arrive in one day?" Theo had honestly thought it was a bluff, but it wasn't impossible if this speed was maintained.
The distance covered would normally take a week for a top level company. If this ridiculously fast method were to be known, the Meltor's Merchants Association might go on strike. Theodore looked at the receding Bergen with half admiration and half anxiety.
He prayed unconsciously in his mind. 'Please let this convoy reach the capital safely.'
Then he would be able to reunite with his master, Vince.