Chapter 44 – Two Hero’s Party
“Well, you can get up now.”
“Yes······ A child!? Kahk!”
“You aren’t going to amount to anything much.”
After he extracted the time-sensitive information, Artpe spared the black magician as promised. The black magician’s two arms were tied together, and a warm marble was placed near his chest. It would immediately explode if the black magician tried to use magic. Then Artpe took his gold and artifacts. No matter how he did it, he had spared the black magician’s life.
“You are so young, yet how can you be so brutal······.”
“I’m sure you know about the experiments that was carried out by the Demon with the help of the Archduke. Can you say that again? Who’s brutal?”
Did the black magician relax a little bit when he found out Artpe was young? He had the guts to bad mouth Artpe, but when he heard Artpe’s voice, he immediately shut his mouth. He knew his life could be easily taken away if he spoke carelessly.
On the other hand, the battle had ended so suddenly that Artpe had a hard time accepting the truth. He was barely able to realize that everything wasn’t settled yet.
“Do you have other locations where you conduct experiments?”
“W…we don’t. There are still black magicians left in the kingdom, but there are only one or two left….”
Nothing could be done with just two black magicians. If they were capable of doing something, they were out of Artpe’s league as of now, so he just had to ignore them.
Did he really solve everything at once?
Artpe was having a hard time believing in his own accomplishment, so he lowered his voice further to give additional threats. However, the only thing he accomplished by doing so was to bring about the black magician’s teary eyed confession. It brought back childhood nightmares for the man.
At this point, he knew it was true. Diaz really had no answer!
“Maybe, if all the forces of Diaz could be gathered to attack this place, it might be possible. However, the whole country isn’t on the side of the Archduke. It isn’t as if he could unilaterally gather all the magicians within the kingdom. There is also the issue of him receiving help from a Demon to take control of the throne…. The only ones that could be sent to this place were troops that were completely under the command of the Archduke. Since all of us are dead…..”
Artpe didn’t need to hear any more to know what would happen. In short order, the ownership of the Diaz Kingdom would definitely change again. Or maybe the kingdom itself would disappear.
Artpe had a far away look as he looked past the mountain. His gaze came to rest on the mountain of corpses and blood that was flowing like an ocean. It was a nice and peaceful view that went well with what Artpe was feeling.
“All right. What about the demon?”
“The demon trained us, and she left after giving giving us orders. I…I’m telling you the truth. If her presence became known to the opposing factions, the Archduke’s position would have been untenable…. This is the condition the Archduke had to work with.”
Was that really true? What if the Archduke stationed his troops nearby in case something went wrong? Wouldn’t he use the Demon to turn the kingdom on its head when something went wrong?
Artpe had a habit of always imagining the worst case possible. Then he thought about what he would do in such a situation. He went through that process, and he realized there was nothing that could be accomplished by him going to the palace. This fact calmed his heart.
“Yes, if they are at a dead end, maybe it might be better for the Diaz Kingdom to fall.”
“T….then I can……”
The black magician slightly narrowed his eyes to look at Artpe’s expression. Artpe had let go of everything, and his heart was feeling lighter. It seemed the black magician was trying to use that moment to his advantage. He was trying to secure him own safety. Artpe put on a bright smile as he spoke to the black magician.
“Of course. I gave you my promise, so I’ll spare you. However, you do realize I’m not going spare you for nothing?”
“S…sure. I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll give up on black magic to live a peaceful life! Maybe, I’ll go to the countryside to tend some cows?”
“Are you looking down on the dairy industry?”
Artpe put him in his place before he used the Read All Creation to read the black magician’s information.
[Deyus von Signema]
[Level : 70]
[Strength : 8 Agility : 9 Stamina : 16 Magic Energy : 169]
Artpe’s magical energy was over 800. Even if one took into account the almost 100 level difference, the gap was ridiculously large. Moreover, while Artpe possessed magical energy over 800, he also had considerable amount of strength, agility and stamina. Artpe was several dimensions apart from the black magician, and the difference was unsurmountable.
However, despite this fact, Deyus’ talent wasn’t too bad. It seemed he had been diligent in his magic studies every time he had leveled up. Basically, he had done tasks that would raise his magical energy. Normally, the simple and honest ones that work really hard didn’t get lured by black magic…..
Artpe was tilting his head in puzzlement when he caught the florid last name.
He realized the truth through intuition.
“Your parents are nobles from the Archduke’s faction?”
“How did you know that!? My father is the right hand man of the Archduke, so I had no choice….. Huhk!”
Deyus von Signema was so surprised by Artpe’s pointed question that he unintentionally blurted out the information. He flinched when Artpe’s smile turned vicious.
“Ah, it doesn’t matter. You can’t gain much from using me against my family. I’m ready to sever my relationship from the family. I’m willing to go live a quiet life in the remote countryside…..”
“No, I was just thinking you have the setting to become a legendary hero.”
“Yes. I will spare you, and I’m starting to have an idea on how you can be of benefit to me.”
Deyus von Sigmena had a bad feeling when he heard Artpe’s words. The next word out of Artpe’s mouth pretty much confirmed Deyus’ thoughts.
“Have you heard of a Soul Contract?”
“Are you ok, Artpe!?”
When Artpe returned to the site of the construction, Maetel and Sienna were already back after finishing their Dungeon exploration. They had already surveyed what had occurred below the mountain, so they had a good idea on what Artpe had done.
“I’m not hurt at all, so you guys don’t have to grope me like that.”
“But there are so many corpses here?”
“It was like cutting a bread with a knife. There is no way I would cut my finger doing such a task, so you guys should relax.”
Maetel’s talent made her a genius, but she couldn’t kill ten thousand troops. This was true even if she used her Acceleration skill, which was a total cheat ability. What he had done was possible, because he was a magician.
“Still, I’m glad Artpe is unharmed.”
When the two girls were sure Artpe was unharmed, they clung to his side. Deyus was staring at this curious sight, but he quickly lowered his gaze to the ground.
Thankfully, Deyus was quick on the uptake. As Artpe had that thought, he spoke quietly towards Maetel and Sienna.
“I think we should leave tomorrow, so you guys should make preparations.”
“Tomorrow!? Isn’t that too fast?”
“Didn’t you originally say it would take over a week, oppa?”
That’s right. He had originally allocated around a week for all of this. He had assumed there would be at least two more attacks by troops under the command of the Archduke.
“My secondary power was stronger than I thought…..”
It seemed the Archduke of Diaz was dumber than he had assumed.
“I’m not sure what you are talking about, but does this mean the people here are safe now?”
“For now, they are.”
Of course, even if the townspeople gladly left behind their former residences to come to this place, it didn’t mean there won’t be any calamities or threats in the future. Even if the Archduke was ruined, it wasn’t as if his power base would all disappear. Moreover, the Demon King’s army was alive and well. This was why this location was the ideal location to place this city.
‘We will stay here tonight. However, we’ll have to move on when the day brightens. We’ll have to move as if we are really busy…..’
Artpe let out a light sigh as he spoke to his party.
“You two did well in going to the Dungeon. It’ll be busy once again tomorrow. Both of you should wash and rest. Sienna, you have to do a good job saying farewell to your sister.”
Sienna hugged Artpe tighter before she disengaged. She turned around as she ran off. Level 28 could be seen clearly above her head. Laughter slipped out of him at the absurdity of it.
“How come there are only monsters around me?”
“But Artpe is the most incredible one amongst us.”
Maetel spoke as she glared at the retreating back of Sienna. Artpe gave a non-committal answer as he mussed her hair a bit roughly.
“You should go rest.”
“But Artpe is going to work again.”
“Since I’ve made this mess, I can’t just leave everything as is.”
Maetel had a sullen expression on her face, but she knew there was nothing she could do. She nodded head.
Maetel glanced at the black magician Deyus, and she asked Artpe a question.
“This person is a bad guy. Is it ok for you to be with him like this?”
“I gave him my word that I would spare him, so I have no choice. Instead, I’m thinking about using him in the future.”
It didn’t matter what Artpe was saying at that moment. Deyus’ mind was filled with the word Soul Contract. He couldn’t hear anything else. What scary things will he have to do with his soul on mortgage!
Maetel really didn’t like Deyus, who was letting out a foul energy. However, she saw that he was shaking in fear, so it seemed he couldn’t do anything against Artpe.
As expected, Deyus didn’t have any allies here. He was destined to shake in fear until he was given an order.
The night passed quickly . Artpe stood at the center of the construction site, and he did all the tasks that could be done with his Mana Strings.
He had made a mess of the mountain, so he tidied it up. He gathered materials that would be used for construction, then he searched the mountain for animals that could be used for food…..
As he used it more, Artpe realized that Mana String was an incredible magic. This was especially true when he used it with his Read All Creation ability. The Mana Strings could gather and analyze all the information in its surrounding. It used the information to move in the most efficient manner. It sometimes felt as if he was moving in all directions at the same time.
Even the one using the magic was surprised, so how would those watching him feel? Other people couldn’t see the Mana Strings. It was as if Artpe was changing everything just by waving his hands. He looked like a god.
“I really don’t think he is human.”
“Do you doubt it after seeing all of this? He is a god. A god!”
Thanks to Artpe’s exertion, the city had a foundation by the time morning came. The people felt the truth in their bones. They realized how much construction could be done by working with a magician, who possessed a basic knowledge of architecture.
“It is possible to create waterways like this? How surprising.”
“This place is already better than our town!”
“I love our view. It is quite open.”
“This should be good enough.”
Artpe even checked the wooden barricade around the small city. He made sure everything was perfect before he withdrew his magic. He had used Mana Strings every time his Mana had recovered. Usually, it took a long time for Unique Spells to develop, but it had already reached level 10.
“······shall we go now?”
He cleared everything. It was impossible to clear a Quest as thoroughly as this. He had finished the base Quest alongside the hidden Quests. He hadn’t intended to do this, but he kept completing the Quests that had popped up in a row. It was ironic, but he was done now.
“Magician-nim, are you perhaps leaving already?”
It was almost supernatural as to how the townspeople were able to sense his impending departure. They were flustered as they hung onto him. However, Artpe was firm in his attitude.
“I did all I could do here. No one will be able to threaten you if you stay within this city. There’s no one left to put a curse on you, so you can be at ease and resume your lives. Ah. I want you to forget about my party, and don’t ever speak about us. You should always bear that in mind.”
Artpe had rescued the kids, and he had gathered the townspeople to construct a city on the mountain. They owed him a lot, yet he wanted them to forget about him. They were surprised by his demand.
It seemed the townspeople wanted Artpe to live in the city. They wanted him to rule over them, but Artpe didn’t hold any lingering attachment to this mountain.
He had been forced to carry out this Quest, and he hadn’t received any rewards. He hated those types of Quests the most! Artpe wanted to run out of here as soon as possible. He dragged Maetel and Sienna with him. The people came out in droves, yet he ignored them all.
“Sienna, you have to be happy!”
“I’ll be back, unni!”
The most memorable sight was Aena and Sienna. Aena was crying, yet Sienna had a big smile on her face.
It seemed she didn’t want her unni to worry about her or maybe she really wasn’t sad….. He wanted to think it was the former, but Sienna’s face was way too bright for it to be true.
“Aena unni will be safe if she lives in this town. It is enjoyable for me to be with oppa. This is what is best for the both of us!”
“It isn’t enjoyable for me if Sienna is with us.”
“Maetel unni, you joke around too much.”
The two brats armed themselves with congenial smiles as they sparred with each other. Artpe decided not to intrude. In fact, he didn’t even like acknowledging it. Deyus was being dragged by the rope, and it felt as if he was staring at Artpe. He also decided to ignore him.
He had completely turned away from the city, and the gazes of the townspeople was squarely on his back. It stung. What did he actually do that merited them calling after him with such fervor? He was afraid his resolve would weaken if he turned around to look at them.
‘Humans are simple beings. I did all of this knowing this would would happen. What emotion am I supposed to feel when the people react in a the manner I predicted?’
It was a thought that was unbecoming of him. Artpe tsked as he shook his head to free himself from those thoughts. He took out the communication device, and he soon had a connection to Mycenae.
[Hello, customer. My name is Mycenae. Mycenae.]
“Did you finish their education?”
[······it just finished right now]
“All right. I’m going to visit them once, so you should wait for me with them.”
[Did you really contact me for that…]
Artpe ruthlessly severed the connection, then he turned to look at his party.
“Silpennon’s party will be in charge of this black magician. Of course, I will put a fail safe in place….. After we tell them what to do, we can go on a merry trip to find a magician. Does anyone have a question?”
“Yes, I have one!”
Maetel raised her hand high into the air as she spoke.
“The level difference between Sienna and us is large. Since we are leaving behind the black magician in their care, what if leave behind Sienna too?”
It was a weirdly compelling suggestion, but Artpe let out a bitter laugh. It was possible for Maetel to become smart when she was trying to eliminate her competitor! On the other hand, Sienna was flustered as she gripped Artpe’s sleeve.
“I like oppa. I can raise my level quickly, so don’t throw me away. Ok?”
Of course, Artpe didn’t plan on leaving behind Sienna. Unlike Silpennion, she was a cute and honest girl. It was a plus, but there was a fundamental reason why she was different from him.
“Silpennon is different from Sienna, Maetel. If I want to explain this difference, I’ll have to give you a long lecture on what Classes are….. I’ll give you a short explanation for now. Maetel, do you know about those that are called nobles when they aren’t nobles?”
Maetel shook her head from side to side without much strength. Artpe nodded his head in a solemn manner as he gently put one hand on Sienna’s head. Then he spoke to Maetel.
“We have one right here. You should greet her. She is the noble healer of our party.”