Chapter 119 – Surprise

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Author: Tsunose Bun Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3024 characters
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1268 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Haha. So you want to know who we are, huh? I’ll tell you after you answer my question. Are you and your group headed to the village beyond the forest?”

The man questioned arrogantly, as if his earlier fear had been a lie.

“What?”

Merc asked, rather perplexed. But then she grinned and said,

“I see no need to answer. And even if I did it wouldn’t change anything, so just hurry up and spill it. Who are you?”
“So that’s how it is. I expected as much. In any case, since you’re headed to Kirel I’m afraid I can’t let you leave this forest alive.”
“Is that so? So you plan to take me down, huh? Even if you defeat me…”

that man will be waiting for you.
Merc smiled as she cut her sentence half-way.

She assumed the man in front of her wouldn’t understand who she was referring to, and she didn’t think there was any chance she could lose, to begin with.

She had also agreed to the request for an escort, so there was no way she could let herself lose. It was her responsibility to protect her client and deal with the assailants.

“How about I assist you since it appears that you can’t speak without being slightly tortured? Fortunately for you, I’m an adept healer, so it won’t be a problem even if I got a bit overboard.”
“My, my. What a scary missy. There are b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲s̲ out there that would pay to have a beauty like you torture them. Unfortunately, I don’t swing that way. I’ll take you up on that offer in the afterlife!”

After speaking, the man abruptly reached into his pocket, pulled out a stone, and threw it. Merc saw right away that it wasn’t a typical stone but a Magic Stone.

What kind of Magic Stone is that?

Merc chose to take a few large steps back rather than intercept the Magic Stone since she was unaware of its effects.

And it turned out to be the best choice.

At the spot where Merc had just been, the Magic Stone caused a huge explosion. It was now clear that the Magic Stone had explosive qualities of some type.

“That’s one nasty thing…”

Merc continued to closely observe the man’s actions with increased vigilance after seeing the tremendous explosion.

“Whoa! What exactly did the crazy doc do to it to make it so powerful? It really is something else.”

The man mumbled on the other side of the curtain of smoke. He then started to cautiously back away while remaining careful of Merc.

“Phew. God, do you know how hard it is to pretend to sleep in such conditions?”
“Wat’s up?!”
“W-What happened?!”

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Following the explosion, Foldia, Svemir, and Edin abruptly appeared behind Merc.
 
Merc felt certain that Edin was safe because Svemir was in front of him guarding him. There was also no need to worry about the men who Merc had previously put to sleep because they were still lying unconscious close to the man.

Even if they did wake up, they wouldn’t go unnoticed.

“Merc, who are they?”
“The assailants. Be careful. They have Magic Stones with explosive properties.”
“Explosive? So dat’s wat dat explosion was just now!”

Merc and Foldia moved seamlessly and slowly towards the final man as Svemir stood beside Edin as though on the alert for an ambush.

“Hahaha. Guess this is the end of the line. I knew you weren’t ordinary folks even before you entered the forest, but to think that you’d be this strong… To think that even a young missy could kick our butts.”

Laughing at himself, the man remarked, bending over in laughter. Foldia, whose vision had been enhanced with Mana, did not overlook that.

“Damn. You’re one hell of an idiot, you know that? You must be blind as well. How could you not see that this missy here is the strongest out of all of us?”

He sure knows how to praise people…

Foldia’s statement made Merc happy, but she chose not to argue with him so as not to be distracted.

On the other hand, the attacker paid attention to Foldia’s remarks and nodded while looking at Merc.

“That makes sense. No wonder she wiped the floor with us. This time, we failed spectacularly.”

With a forlorn look on his face, the man murmured as he sat next to his unconscious teammates.

It appeared as though he was inviting them to attack him.

Foldia cautiously approached the man as he shook his head.

“So what now? You giving up?”

Foldia asked. The man’s eyes blazed with the fire of life.

“…?!”

Or more accurately, the fire burning inside the man’s eyes appeared to be a last-ditch attempt rather than a fire of life, giving off the impression of resignation.

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Which made him dangerous.

“Fol! Get back!”
“What?”
“Haha. See ya!” The man said.

Foldia immediately retreated after hearing Merc’s warning, and Merc quickly placed both of her palms against the ground.

The man’s immediate surroundings suddenly became illuminated.

“Earth Wall!”

Around Merc, a big heap of earth surged up, forming a wall of soil. At the same time, a terrifying blast wave rushed at her and the others.

Thanks to Merc’s Mana Hardening and Foldia’s typically robust constitution, they would have likely survived if the wave had reached them. Svemir and Edin, however, would have undoubtedly been in danger. 

The nearby animals fled for dear life as the trees fell one after another and a sizable chunk of the earth was gouged out.

The magnitude of this explosion dwarfed that of the Magic Stone hurled earlier by the man. It had almost blown Merc’s Earth Wall to pieces.

“Damn it! He played us!” Merc yelled as she smacked the ground once the blast passed and nitrous smoke filled the air.
“T-That was scary… Just what was that explosion?!”

That explosion had been truly terrifying. The likelihood of any of the three men surviving was extremely remote. It would be hard for Merc to pick up their pieces and revive them, even with her mastery of Heal.

The guy had been able to murder both himself and his companions, burying their secrets in the process.

“It was most likely caused by a Magic Stone. That man’s comrades most likely had the same Magic Stones as him, and he just triggered them, resulting in that explosion.”
“Hmph, so that’s how it is. A grand scale self-destruction.”
“Put simply, yes. Unfortunately, I never did learn who they are.”

Merc said in a dejected tone. Foldia, on the other hand, spoke optimistically.

“Don’t mind it. Their purpose was to stop us from getting to Kirel Village. This just means that there’s something in Kirel Village. We’ll simply figure it all out once we’re there.”
“Don’t you get tired of being so random? Do you ever have a plan?”
“Why would I? Let bygones be bygones. There’s no point in pondering over something that has passed. To begin with, our objective is to complete this request and head to the Empire. Not to find out who those people were.”
“You’re right but…”

Merc said, appearing somewhat displeased. She didn’t like it, but she had to accept that Foldia was right.

“Hey, ya two!”

At the same time, Svemir called out to both of them. Merc and Foldia then turned to face him.

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“I’m sorry for interrupting ya, but could ya help me carry Edin? He’s completely out cold.”

Svemir said, scratching his forehead, pointing at Edin who’d been knocked out cold by the explosion.

“……”



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