|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1348 words|
I kept bowing my head until the man disappeared from my sight. He seemed to be quite fast on his feet, he disappeared beyond the highway before we knew it.
He might’ve been using the same Cargo magic that Maxwell often used. It belonged to the Puppetry system and wasn’t high-ranking magic. It was originally developed for heavy laborers so it was extremely easy to use… Or so I heard. I couldn’t use it myself so I wasn’t sure about that part.
At any rate, he was so fast that I could only accept that explanation. Seeing me bow in cold sweat towards the disappearing man, Michelle flashed a smirk at me.
“Ah, well, I just thought that you can be quite clumsy at times.”
“How rude. It was clearly that guy’s fault for hiding in such a place.”
“Well, as he said, he’s free to rest wherever he pleases outside of the city. But why was he there of all places…”
Letina inclined her head in a quizzical manner. But she was right, hiding in the roadside grasses made it seem like he was hiding from people. His clothing was too light considering he was outside the city. He had a sword on him, but other than that he was hardly distinguishable from an average villager.
It was as if his appearance and behavior were the results of him not wanting to stand out.
“It’s strange as Letina said. I wonder why?”
“Hey, Nicole, what’s this?”
Cloud started feeling around in the grass after hearing Letina’s words. He found a small envelope in there and took it out.
“Did that person drop it?”
“Perhaps. If so, we have to catch up and return it.”
“But look, this isn’t actually sealed up. Don’t you normally seal these things properly?”
Cloud turned it around to show us the back of it. As he said, there was no seal on it. It was just asking to be inspected like that.
However, it was bad manners to look inside without permission. But before I could say that, Cloud took out what was inside the envelope.
“Wait, you idiot!”
“Let’s see, “The circle has been discovered. The target is moving according to our design. The strategist should be heading for you”?”
Hearing what the letter he took out said, I momentarily stiffened in place. When one spoke about the strategist, it almost always referred to Cortina. And I didn’t feel good vibes from the word ‘target’, either. And what about leading…
The circle… The magic circle drawn under that boulder wasn’t such a big deal. In the first place, it wasn’t drawn on the bedrock but earth instead, so it should’ve been easy to erase it by plowing the ground a bit.
Despite that, the entire circle was left intact. It was being weathered for a week, but it was still possible for Maxwell to learn its destination.
Wait, wasn’t it strange that they let Den escape, to begin with? Den had the abnormal intellect for his species, but his physical abilities were no different from an ordinary Ogre.
Ogres excelled in pure strength but they were not that agile. If one felt like hilling him, it would be almost impossible for him to escape.
Considering that they were doing such a tedious task as drawing a teleportation circle, they should’ve considered the possibility of him returning to attack during their ceremony, so it would be better to put an end to him in advance.
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If they had individuals talented enough to perform teleportation magic, defeating an Ogre or two would’ve been a cinch. And yet, Den was allowed to escape.
“Could ‘leading’… Refer to Maxwell and the rest?”
Letina heard my mutter and responded in a shocked voice. Hearing that someone was planning to lead the Heroes into a trap made her lose her composure.
“What do you mean!?”
“Wait, let me think.”
Indeed, the evidence left behind was clearly strange. It was left so blatantly you’d think it was intentional. And what if they let Den escape intentionally too?
When an Ogre showed up, a commission to subjugate it would be put out. After all, Ogres weren’t normally beings one would be able to converse with. And after being subjugated, they would start searching for its hideout for any leftover Ogres. If it had friends or children, it could lead to more danger.
If it proceeded as such, that magic circle would have been discovered sooner or later.
And if some Adventurer discovered an unfamiliar magic circle, it would quickly reach Maxwell’s ears. Since he knew about Klein Domain’s movements, he would quickly guess what that circle was.
And after analyzing that magic circle that strangely couldn’t be fully narrowed down, he would think that he caught on to their leads. It would be a natural development.
Indeed, even this hard-to narrow down nature of it was there to add more credibility to it. Even so, despite not being able to know the exact location, he would still be left with two options — Qaum and Lilith.
In that case, it was easy to imagine that the Six Heroes would head to those places.
But why did they go out of their way to do all this, you might ask?
The answer was simple — to ambush us in cities that were full of obstacles. Our abilities were extremely limited inside the populated areas.
Lyell and Gadius aside, Maxwell and Maria couldn’t use any grand-scale magic inside there. If they did, it would drag many unrelated citizens into it. Cortina, too, would be rendered mostly powerless if she couldn’t command people.
And their biggest firepower that was Maxwell would be forced to use smaller-scaled spells.
Also, Cortina was a strategist that formed plans to attack the enemies. Putting it differently, she was the weakest among them when it came to actual fighting strength.
If they were forced into a melee inside a city, she would become easy prey. In that case, this information could only mean…
“They… Are targeting Cortina!”
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To murder a Six Hero. If one planned to do that, Cortina would be their first choice. And since we were unable to narrow it down lower than two cities, they planned to divide us.
In fact, the five of them had been divided and were inspecting the cities separately. I didn’t know where the enemy was lying in wait, but they had to take two or three of them on at most.
Considering the battle powers, Cortina should have been accompanied by either Lyell or Gadius who excelled at guarding roles. Both of them were vanguards.
Maxwell, the most dangerous of them who had mastered all kinds of spells, would most likely not be in Cortina’s team to keep the compositions more balanced.
Maria was staying at Cortina’s house at the moment, so Maxwell was definitely acting separately from Cortina.
“This is bad… I have to let them know!”
It was evening now. Cortina was called by Maxwell past noon, and after we were left to self-study. In other words, she was in Qaum or Lilith at the moment. If I didn’t let them know about the ambush fast, it would be too late.
“Michelle, Letina! We are going back at once!”
“Yes… I’m gonna—I mean, I will go ahead first! You return on your own.”
“Well, okay… But what happened all of a sudden?”
“Will explain later!”
Cloud found my flustered conduct strange, but I didn’t even have time for explanations. And if I matched my pace with the heavily-armored Cloud or the physically weak Letina, it would only waste the precious time I had left.
My agility was cut above the rest of our group. I had to make haste, and these three would only slow me down.
Fortunately, we were near a highway. The safety was being maintained to a degree so there should be no dangers.
Thus, I snatched the letter from Cloud and rushed towards Raum’s capital at full speed.
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