Chapter 232 - Elsid's Gifts (4)
It was two days after that.
As Orta had announced in advance, he completed the creation of the large-scale magic circle to return with the expedition army. He was a 7th Circle magician and the best at space magic, but it still wasn't easy to take hundreds of people with him.
It had taken a few days to prepare a magic circle with a diameter of 100 meters and gather all the magic power.
'The recoil will be big, even if he is the tower master. Will he be okay?' Theodore's concern wasn't excessive.
After all, it was a big burden to move hundreds of people through long-distance space travel from the Central Continent to the Northern Continent. Theodore himself wasn't sure he would be able to do it at the 8th Circle.
Perhaps White Tower Master Orta had a 'Sorcery' that made this possible. At that moment, there was a throbbing pain in Theodore's chest. "Ugh."
This was circle overload; pain filled his abused body in exchange for completing the great magic Abraxas. Unlike trauma which could be treated with potions, this overload didn't have effective means of treatment. Despite the modern advances, the Magic Society didn't have a solution for it aside from 'time.'
He had consumed two elixirs, but he couldn't see any effects taking place.
'Well, I didn't think it would recover in just two days. ...At least one month,' Theodore diagnosed himself and looked at the man approaching him.
The man's expression had been hidden since the moment Theodore met him.
"You are leaving for Kargas," the White Tower Master, Orta, spoke in a dry voice as usual.
"Yes, I will return via Sipoto."
"The border city. Are you perhaps planning to attend the underground auction? It isn't held at this time." Orta was head of the intelligence network, so he was well aware of the underground auction house associated with Sipoto. Maybe he had more details than the information guild.
While thinking he would need to find out later, Theodore replied to his question, "No. I have a person I want to meet. I will come home as soon as I finish with him."
"Give me the name of the person, just in case."
"Heinrich, famous for his nickname of the 'Old Books Maniac.'
"Old Books Maniac Heinrich... I understand. Then I will be going." Orta turned around at the reply from Theodore and headed to the center of the magic circle. It seemed that he needed to make final adjustments before the long-distance teleport.
Some people followed closely after him in approaching Theodore. They were Vince and the Clovis siblings, who were worried about Theodore's condition. The three people lined up before Theodore.
"In the end, you will be left alone," Vince said with a bitter smile. He couldn't do anything, despite his position as a teacher.
"Nothing will happen in a day or two."
"Then take care of yourself and return. There is no need to rush, but don't be too late."
"Yes. I will keep that in mind, Master."
Vince left after his farewell speech. Then Randolph spoke while scratching the back of his head in a sign of uneasiness, "...Are you sure I shouldn't stay by your side? It doesn't make sense to leave without you."
"Randolph, I understand your heart, but there is no need." Theodore shook his head with a light sigh. "Don't worry about me. Wait in Mana-vil with Rebecca."
Of course, there was an option to have Randolph accompany him. He could request the escort of a sword master. However, Theodore didn't choose that option. It wasn't because he didn't want to lean on Randolph but because he wanted to exclude the risk factor. He couldn't tell if there was a benefit to Randolph accompanying him.
'There might be some type of tracking device. The empire collects and uses all types of artifacts instead of magic. It is wiser to leave Randolph in Mana-vil in case his position is exposed to Andras.'
When they took Rebecca hostage, Andras had probably been expecting their betrayal. They wouldn't have ruled out the possibility of one of the Clovis siblings escaping. That was why it was decided to have them move to Meltor through Orta's space magic.
Randolph thought it was unfortunate, but Rebecca bowed to Theodore and followed his words. "I will wait until you return, My Lord."
"...Yes, I'll see you later." It was the best answer for Theodore, who still wasn't familiar with her. She was a knight he competed with once in public and the sister of his friend. Now, she had sworn a pledge of loyalty to him. There would be a chance to sort out this complicated relationship, but it would not be now.
Then almost a thousand people stood on the magic circle. The preparations were finished. Orta closed his eyes in the center, and the magic circle flashed.
The huge amount of magic power caused a gust of wind to blow, and an unknown pressure to build up. There was enough power that even a person who didn't practice mana could feel it. In the midst of that vortex, Orta's mouth opened, "「――――」"
Unfortunately, Theodore couldn't hear it. The space around Orta started to distort as soon as the words were spoken. It resembled a haze or a mirage, but anything which touched it disappeared without a trace. Space magic was dangerous and difficult magic. However, unlike the scale of the magic circle, the invocation was instant.
Flash! The light couldn't be penetrated with human vision, and the 800 people in the magic circle disappeared. One of the many mysteries of this age vanished without a trace.
"...This is amazing. It is hard to believe that a person can do such huge magic."
"It is ridiculous for us too." Theodore shrugged with a smile. If anyone could use this magic, the entire continent would be under the feet of the Meltor Kingdom. Theodore spoke to Baek Jongmyung for a while and then his means of transportation arrived.
It was a carriage pulled by two horses. Although it seemed rough, the body of the carriage was actually covered with lightweight spells, and the inside of the carriage was four times wider than it seemed due to space magic.
This was a carriage for distinguished guests. It was the gift from King Elsid, who considered the fact that Theodore wouldn't want to be seen by others.
"Then I will be going now." Theodore shook Baek Jongmyung's hand, noticing his appreciation and anxiety. The appreciation was directed to Theodore, while the worry was probably...
"Please look after my son, Sir Theodore."
"You don't need to worry. The person who found his way to me isn't the same as before."
"Really? That boy...?" Baek Jongmyung was strangely moved by Theodore's words. Perhaps, it was like a baby bird leaving its nest? Theodore never had a child or disciple, so he didn't know the feeling.
The conversation between the two people ended there. Baek Jongmyung left, and Theodore entered the carriage, lying down on the bed.
This was his last memory in the Soldun Kingdom.
* * *
In a place that no one knew, someone opened their mouth. The person's appearance couldn't be seen because they were covered in darkness, but the voice seemed to come from a middle-aged man.
No, it was a voice that was like that of a young man. "I just received the news. He has crossed the border of the Soldun Kingdom. He is alone."
"Hoh." This time, it was the voice of an old man. "It is a good period to open the jaws of death... Can it be done?"
"No, we can't be sure of his power in the present." The third voice was that of a young woman. Just listening to the voice made a person feel like the owner of the voice was a beauty.
She spoke in a voice that didn't contain any emotions, "The target dealt with the 4th Sword, Pan Helliones. In addition, based on the level of the destruction marks left on Babarino Plains, he is a top-level master."
"Ohh... He is terrifying at this age. He is someone who deserves to be our enemy."
"But there is a variable that he doesn't know we are watching," another voice filled with admiration and hatred replied to the old man.
There were four people rattling in the darkness where nothing could be seen. Their genders, ages, and species were unknown. Then the meeting shortly came to a conclusion.
"Use this occasion to remove him," the fourth voice, which sounded like molten iron, suggested.
"How?" The young man asked.
The old man replied, "There is a maneuver called 'Let the Barbarians Fight Among Themselves' on the Eastern Continent. How about using it?"
"Let the Barbarians Fight Among Themselves?"
"Barbarians will fight the barbarians. It means we don't have to move since the enemies will take care of each other. Now, isn't it a suitable method in this situation?"
The other three voices were silent. They were reviewing the old man's proposal and considering if it was possible or not. Subsequently, the beautiful woman's voice complained toward the old man, "How much of our influence in the Central Continent will we lose if we drag them in?"
"Um, that might not be the case," the old man spoke with an eerie laugh. "The loss of the 4th Sword is big. Andras won't be able to let go of this chance to retaliate. We just need to give them a push."
"...It means to pass them information."
"Besides, the shadows are easier to deceive than the white tower." The old man's voice contained a dark hatred at the end.
The White Tower Master, Orta... Everything from his birth to his growth was unidentified. It was almost impossible to fool that monster's attention inside Meltor, although it might be possible outside of it. The old man had tried to penetrate Orta's surveillance a number of times, but he had never succeeded. So, it was humiliating for the old man. This time, the old man would break that arrogant man's nose.
"...What destination is the target heading to?" The voice like molten iron asked.
"The target's carriage is heading to Kargas. It is hard to see it as a trap because the carriage is moving on a straight path."
"Then he will likely pass through Sipoto."
"I guess he is thinking of going to Meltor through Kargas."
The four voices asked questions and made plans. Despite the four people being of different ages, genders, and species, their discussion was rational and calm.
Kargas' border city, Sipoto...
The target's location, distance to the city, and other variables were answered.
"...It isn't too late if we hurry."
"It isn't good to send anyone with less power than the 4th Sword. If Andras moves on this information, his death will be confirmed."
"We must find a way to get rid of the bodies and the byproducts."
"Yes, I will take all necessary measures."
The group had a reason for doing this. Charlotte's Necklace had been taken away from them at the underground auction house. The Orcus Company's headquarters had been devastated by an unidentified battle.
They had ignored the humiliation and hidden in the shadows. They would kill the target, Theodore Miller, to get rid of their resentment. The four warlocks hiding in the darkness of the Central Continent... The eyes of the Four Horsemen glimmered with an eerie light.
The ominous and fascinating sight resembled blood dripping down. Then the four pairs of eyes closed, and nothing remained in the darkness.