Chapter 8 Part 5
“Hey. Drop the boring act and show yourself!”
I called out to the seemingly empty patch of grass.
“Kurt… What’s the matter? There’s nothing over there, though?”
Lara tilted her head.
At first, the guy did not want to speak, but then, as if he had given up…
“Seems like it doesn’t work on thee. So do thou also know the truth?”
The spell was removed, and an old man appeared.
“Wow! Where did he appear from?”
“Could it be… magic? So Kurt was the only one who could see through it?”
Lara and Marise could not hide their surprise at the old man who seemed to appear out of nowhere.
“Haaa… you should do better with your cloaking magic.”
It was so poorly done that it makes me sigh.
He was hiding himself using a cloaking spell and made it look as if the representatives of the Imperial Capital were the ones who cast the Meteor Burn spell and the barrier magic.
They were so close to each other probably because they would not have been able to imitate the magic formula if they were too far apart.
If it were me, I could have made my magic reach the royal capital all the way from here. He is just a weakling.
“Who are you?”
“I am Arnold of the <<Four Great Sages>>. I came to talk with thee.”
The old man… Arnold, said in a pompous manner.
This guy is ── Oh. The old man was the only one who showed a calm demeanor in the Empire’s secret room.
He must have used some kind of teleportation magic to get here.
But still… Did he come all the way here just to talk to me?
“T-The <<Four Great Sages>> are said to be the most powerful mages in the Empire!”
“It is said that they have the power to see through everything in this world and take control of it…!”
The word, <<Four Great Sages>>, made Lara and Marise brace themselves.
“Now then… Do you admit that the Empire is intervening in the exhibition game?”
“What makes thee think so?”
Arnold smiled wickedly.
”First of all, it’s that surveillance magic device. I was able to reverse the magic power flowing in it, and by doing that, I saw everything. It seems that the Empire was trying to keep track of us from a distance.”
“And then there’s the barrier magic that was placed on the students from the Imperial Capital. Judging by their abilities, they are not capable of doing that. You were the one who deployed the barrier magic on them.”
According to Lara and Marise, barrier magic is rather difficult to use in this era.
“There’s also the Meteor Burn. You hid yourself and cast it behind the scenes. And you were so used to it, weren’t you? This is not your first time. I guess you’ve done it many times before, haven’t you?”
responded Arnold, still with his wicked smile on his face.
He confessed so readily. Probably he was thinking, “I’m going to kill him anyway, so let him talk as much as he wants now.”.
Erika-sensei said they had been unlucky and had not been able to win. It was made to look like bad luck, but the Empire was pulling some strings behind the scenes. Just like today.
“Thou art wise. As expected, my eyes have not deceived me.”
“Now that I have heard thy story, let me get to my point… Will thou join forces with the Empire?”
“Thy power is being wasted on the foolish royal capital.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I can tell from your magic. Thou knows a part of the truth as well as we do. This I know.”
“About the ‘Truth’ you spoke of… Do you happen to know anything about the decline of this world?”
Lara and Marise do not understand what I am talking about.
“Kukuku…,” laughed Arnold,
“Just as I thought. Come to the Empire. I’ll tell thee the truth.”
Arnold puts out his hand.
“Kurt… don’t go!”
“Y-You can’t go!”
Lara and Marise grabbed my arms.
The two seem to be worried, but there was no need to think about it.
“I refuse. I’ve always hated the Empire. So why should I join forces with you guys?”
I spat out.
The <<Four Great Sages>> certainly bothers me.
It is possible that there is someone who is stronger than me, but… looking at Arnold, it just did not seem that way.
More importantly, it was the nobles of the Empire who harassed me for being the heretic who brought about the magic revolution a thousand years ago.
Even if there is someone who is stronger than me in the Empire, there is no way I would join forces with them.
After all — I do not want to befriend the strong ones, I want to fight them.
It would be easier if we were enemies.
“Don’t you want to know the truth?”
“All I have to do is fight you now and find out.”
“Oh?”, said Arnold with a more sinister grin on his face.
”…Very well. This answer was somewhat predictable. Then as originally planned…”
Arnold unleashes his magic.
“I will have to kill you.”
As it is, the representatives of the Imperial Capital, who had been lying on the ground, suddenly roared.
“Hey, you trash! You can at least be my shield!”
The representatives of the Imperial Capital got up and turned toward us.
They were out of focus.
What’s more, the magic power inside their body is out of control. They were probably in unbearable pain.
“Oh? Did you boost their magic power with the magic tool? But if this continues, I’m afraid that after their magic power is exhausted, they’ll be burned to a crisp, and you won’t be able to get away with it.”
“Well, trash will die as trash.”
He is quite a nasty person. But if we take care of it quickly, everything should work out.
“All right, let’s get it done.”
As I was about to begin my assault with the representatives from the Imperial Capital ──
“Kurt! Leave them to us!”
“I can’t burden Kurt all the time.”
said Lara and Marise, who stepped in front of me.
“What’s the matter, you two? If you are worried about me, don’t be. This is as easy as setting fire to a ladybird with a magnifying glass.”
“Even so… I don’t want to rely on Kurt all the time!”
“That’s right. And we are in the same party, aren’t we? Please depend on us sometimes.”
“So Kurt, leave the representatives of the Imperial Capital to us. Let’s work together and win this!”
They look determined.
I could not help but laugh.
I did not think the words, ‘We are in the same party’ or ‘Work together’… would be directed at me.
A thousand years ago, I always took care of things myself.
But it doesn’t feel bad at all ── to have friends, which is truly reassuring.
“All right. I will leave my back to you two.”
“Take care of the <<Four Great Sages>>, Kurt!”
One of the <<Four Great Sages>> is a bit too much for them to handle, but they can deal with the representatives of the Imperial Capital.
Just in case, I will use magic to share consciousness with them. This way, I can see how they are doing, and if something unforeseen happens, I can come to their aid.
“We will be your opponent!”
Lara and Marise led the representatives of the Imperial Capital away as they cast their magic.
And now I am left to confront Arnold.
“Now then… my friends will take care of your human shields. I wonder what will you do?”
“I have not planned to rely on them from the beginning. Rather, repent that thy life is shortened. Die in the hands of my magic!!”
Arnold tried to cast his magic.
Judging from the magic formula, it was probably the Thunderbolt spell.
“HAHAHAHAHAHA! DIE, DIEEE!!”
Thunderbolts flew toward me.
Arnold, who was pleased with himself, laughed loudly.
As for me ──
“This is boring.”
I raised my right hand high. A circular barrier then appeared in front of me and completely blocked all the lightning strikes from all directions.
“Wha ── !”
Arnold looks surprised.
After making sure that all the lightning strikes had stopped, I removed the barrier.
“Now…. you’re going to let me get serious, won’t you?”