Chapter 0111 Assassin’s suffering
Avan village. The Order of Assassins Headquarters.
Two executives were having a conversation.
“Siccar, did the Chief?”
“Natalia? No, I’ve not been summoned yet …”
They were the ones who led the abduction of the Kingdom of Ju’s Prince Willy.
“I recall you were berated severely the last time you attempted the abduction and caught a fake.”
“Don’t bring that up again.”
Natalia mentioned Siccar’s previous failure.
“That’s why this time, I let Bhagabis’ unit attack and chase the one who jumped out. We didn’t pursue. And as expected, we caught the real one.”
“But if I didn’t join, you wouldn’t have been able to defeat those escorts.”
“I believed you would assist.”
Natalia pointed out assertively, and while Siccar frowned in his heart, he thanked her on the surface.
In the end, more than thirty people were mobilized.
Securing the prince was just that important.
However, there was something that worried Siccar.
Bhagabis’ unit of twelve, who chased the body double that jumped out of the carriage, had not yet returned.
Due to the nature of missions, some assassins would be sent out for the required duration and when it was over, they might be deployed directly for the next mission.
Bhagabis was still a low-ranking executive compared to Siccar and Natalia, so he was often sent on consecutive missions without returning to headquarters.
(Were they killed by a monster in the forest? All twelve people including Bhagabis? That’s impossible …)
Those twelve people, with an executive in the group, would not die to monsters.
Naturally, he didn’t even consider the possibility of them losing to a body double.
An attendant of the chief approached them and reported.
“Siccar, Natalia, the Chief is calling.”
“Chief, you summoned us?”
Siccar and Natalia knelt in front of the Chief.
The abducted Prince Willy lied on a stone pedestal behind the chief.
“Yes. This time he’s the real prince. Both of you did well.”
At 190 cm tall with long white hair and beard but bright black eyes that did not display his age.
It was rumored that he was over 90 years old but he could pass off as a person in their fifties.
And, a monster that none of the executives could match up to yet …
Natalia thought in her heart.
He was an old man for as long as she could remember since she joined the cult, he was an old man when she became a full-fledged member, and he was still an old man when she became an executive.
Even though he was a timeless old man, all the executives combined would still fail to defeat him … that was the strength of the leader in front of her.
Despite her superficial allegiance, Natalia was part of the so-called group of『Anti-Chief』.
(You should retire soon.)
While he is the founder of the Order of Assassins and the strongest person, after reigning at the top for well over half a century, some people around him were disgusted.
That man was obsessed with Prince Willy.
They didn’t know what for.
Siccar next to her was the second most knowledgeable on alchemy after the chief, but he only mentioned previously that Prince Willy’s blood was necessary for some alchemy procedure.
“I’m about to prepare for the ritual. Everyone is forbidden from entering this Elder’s room. Understood?”
Siccar and Natalia bowed their heads and backed away from the Chief.
After they stepped out of the Elder’s room, they heard the door lock from inside.
Natalia cursed in her heart.
(I didn’t even know that this door had a lock.)
Natalia looked at the door again.
She heard Siccar mutter.
“Finally, the chief’s long-cherished wish …”
Siccar was trembling with excitement.
“Hey Siccar. What ritual will the chief be performing?”
Siccar had an obvious expression of ‘Shit, I revealed too much’.
He only noticed now that he muttered something excessive while he was feeling impressed.
“It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone. It’s going to be done soon anyway?”
Natalia was even more intrigued.
“Ah, ah … well, people who are familiar with alchemy would know … the chief developed an alchemy procedure for 『Immortality』 and he is attempting that now.”
“Immortality? Immortality as in living forever?”
Natalia couldn’t understand what Siccar was saying for a moment, but when she understood it, her complexion turned pale.
But Siccar wasn’t looking at Natalia and didn’t notice her the change in her expression.
“Yes, that immortality. Finally, the Chief will rule us forever.”
(You’ve got to be kidding!)
Natalia, who parted ways with Siccar, shouted in her heart over and over again, with a bitter expression.
(Is that even possible? What should I do … I can’t decide on my own. Then … I was told not to use it as much as possible, but this would be irreversible without further instructions. )
Natalia hurried back to her room and activated a special alchemy stone.
That made it impossible to eavesdrop on the room.
Then, she took out a hand mirror-sized stone plate from a locked drawer and placed her right hand on it.
As a result, the stone plate was unlocked and it became possible to communicate with a specific party.
Both the eavesdropping prevention alchemy stone and this communication device were all alchemy tools originally developed by the chief.
The other party modified the communication device such that she could have a long-distance conversation with them.
“『Black-sama』, Natalia speaking. There has been a development that I must inform you urgently.”
The other party was the cult’s number 2 called 『Black』.
Executives were also informed that he was the one who led the attack in Whitnash.
“I found out why the chief was obsessed with the prince of the Kingdom of Ju. It seems that he will be using the prince’s body to gain immortality.”
The intense change that happened to 『Black’s』 atmosphere, who was always calm and collected, could be felt by Natalia even through the communication device.
And Natalia also knew that it was because of the possibility to be 『Immortal』.
“I was told that he was about to begin the ritual and would seclude himself in the Elder’s room. What should I do?”
Natalia asked for instructions.
That could be said to be a nightmare situation for the Anti-Chief faction.
To be honest, they didn’t know how 『Immortal』 would he become.
Would he just not die from old age or would he recover even from a fatal wound …?
Natalia couldn’t decide what to do with all those uncertainties.
“Natalia, stop the ritual with all your might. It should not be an easy ritual to prepare for. It will take twelve hours to start the ritual, but once the ritual is over, our future is over. I allow the use of all the power given to you. Listen well, be sure to stop him.”
“Yes. I understand.”
After Natalia said that, the stone board returned to just a stone board and the communication was terminated.
(『Black-sama』 knows about the 『Immortality』 ritual … and he ordered me to stop it … within twelve hours?)
Natalia fell into deep thought to think of a strategy …
(I’m ready, but I just need one more person …)
Natalia scratched her head as she paced around her room.
(If there was just one more executive with a high level of combat power … I could do it while they’re fighting the chief … Damn! Why isn’t Sharfi here at this time! I could just discard him if he was here!)
Natalia thought of something terrible as a matter of fact.
(My subordinates won’t even buy a second …)
Of course, even her subordinates were pieces that could be discarded.
As Natalia was walking around thinking about that, she heard the sound of a rough knock on the door and the voice of her close subordinate shout ‘Natalia-sama!’ from the hallway.
“What is it? Enter.”
Her subordinate stumbled into the room in a rush after Natalia gave permission.
“I-It’s a disaster. The village is being attacked.”
Natalia couldn’t make sense of his words.
Attack … she understood the meaning of attack.
But such matters could be easily dealt with?
There were more than a hundred people in the village … and they were all assassins.
Even if there were to be ten times as many Knights, they could repel them without any problems as long as they fought in the village.
It would be a different matter if they were in a desert or grassland without any cover but the village had a well-thought-out terrain and structure layout for defensive battles.
It was a village of people whose livelihood was assassination.
As long as they didn’t know when, where, and who will attack them, it was natural to be prepared as much as possible.
Well, in the first place, it was impossible for people like Knights to easily approach the village. After all, it was an assassin’s village.
However, her subordinate said, ‘We are being attacked’.
That meant that an assault on the village was already currently underway.
A village that would be difficult to even approach was being attacked?
“Who are the assailants? How many?”
Her subordinate hesitated for a moment before steeling himself and answering.
Natalia could only repeat the response from her subordinates.
“It is just one Water-Attribute Magician. He’s charging in directly from the front.”
“Impossible! What about the interception party!?”
“Everyone was frozen. He’s the Water-Attribute Magician who was with Gecko’s Caravan. The Magician who froze Gae. He’s the assailant!”
“Why is that guy here …”
After climbing up the mountain road, there was a village.
Ryo knew that he was being monitored while he was climbing the mountain road, but he did nothing and walked normally on the straight road.
Regardless of the residents’ occupation, as long as it was a ‘village’, travelers might visit.
Adventurers who receive some kind of request in the city may stop by the village to gather information or some may stumble upon it after getting lost.
The assassins might be on guard if an armed group like Knights was approaching or they might choose to intercept them on the mountain road but the assassins watching Ryo would never imagine that he would attack on his own.
Ryo imagined in his head when he saw the village.
A world where everything was frozen.
And he chanted.
A wide-area freezing magic named 『Permafrost』.
It was a simple spell.
It reduced the molecular vibration of water molecules in his vision and froze them.
That was it.
However, the range and effects were extraordinary.
If Abel saw the scene, he would say: ‘Hey, didn’t you come to rescue someone? Won’t you freeze them too?’
His Highness Willy should be kept far behind enemy lines.
Permafrost wouldn’t freeze him … Ryo thought willfully.
Well, even if humans freeze, they would still be alive …
In the village, everyone who was outdoors was frozen.
“Sharfi said that everyone in the village is an assassin, so this wouldn’t be civilian slaughter, right?”
Although Ryo didn’t know in detail whether the 『assassins』 here were 『combatants』 or 『civilians』…
“<Ice Armor> <Ice Wall 10-Layer Package>”
When Ryo finished chanting, five arrows flew at him.
Of course, they were deflected by the ice wall.
“<Icicle Lance 5>”
Following the trajectory from where the arrow flew, he sent the icicle lances back in a reverse attack.
Screams and moans could be heard from where the lances flew to.
Furthermore, he countered the attack magics that were sent his way with Icicle Lances.
He activated the Active Sonar spell that he usually doesn’t use since the amount of information that enters the brain would be too much to process.
Unlike passive sonar, Ryo emitted a 『ping』, and by analyzing what it hits and reflects against, it was possible to grasp the surrounding situation.
Its ability to even detect objects that do not move was excellent so it was an outstanding spell.
Ryo boldly traveled straight through the front of the village entrance while processing the ton of information from <Active Sonar>.
By the time he reached the front of the largest building in the center of the village, the long-range attacks targeting Ryo had completely stopped.
Instead, the remaining troops were concealed in front of the building.
“Their last stand is close combat?”
The corner of Ryo’s mouth rose slightly as he rejoiced from the flow of a decent battle.
As Ryo approached, the hidden assassins all threw something at once.
When the thrown objects fell to the ground, a large amount of white smoke formed.
Frankly, Ryo thought in his head that he wanted a little more originality.
However, there was a possibility that it was not just smoke but also mixed with poison so he didn’t cut corners.
A momentary heavy rain fell in the area, washing down all the smoke in the air to the ground.
Normally, at that moment, Ryo would start running to close the distance to the enemy and incapacitate them while they are surprised, but this time he just erased the smoke with Squall and continued walking.
Ryo approached the building step by step.
(I would expect the assassins to disperse and attack again with a different method, but the fact that the assassins aren’t doing that … means this building is the most important location.)
Even with <Active Sonar>, he could not detect His Highness Willy’s presence.
He didn’t know where he was, but Ryo believed that he would be secured in an important location.
Even if he wasn’t there, Ryo decided that he could just ask the highest-ranking person in the important location.
And from the actions of the assassins, he was convinced that the mansion in front of him was the most important base.
“Okay. I’ll freeze everyone in ice then. <Ice Coffin 13>”
In the end, it didn’t even become close combat …
Natalia was astonished when she went out to the village and watched the assassins fight.
(What is that monster!?)
An invisible ice shield that prevented all attacks.
Ice spears shot from outside of the ice shield.
(Isn’t he invincible with just those two abilities!?)
Moreover, when they tried to put up a smokescreen and challenge him in close combat, the smokescreen was removed in an instant ….
It was a nightmare.
“Is that the Magician who was with Gecko?”
Natalia asked her subordinate next to her.
Half of her men attacked Gecko and failed at that time.
“Yes. It was from afar, but I am certain it was that robed man.”
Her subordinate answered and nodded.
(Perhaps Prince Willy and Gecko are connected … Or, the Duke of Inbury requested for Prince Willy’s rescue and Gecko sent that man …?)
Prince Willy and his party were heading for the Kingdom of Knightley via the Inbury Duchy.
In the Duchy, he also had an audience with the head of state, the Duke.
“Never mind, that doesn’t matter now.”
Natalia said aloud.
“That Water-Attribute Magician aims to retrieve Prince Willy. That means he will be going to the Elder’s room. We can defeat him with the traps set up in that room!”
“But that trap can only be activated by the Chief?”
“I can do it. Half of the preparations are already complete. I’ll prepare the rest, so you guys keep your eyes on him.”
(And defeat the Chief at the same time.)
Natalia decided to round up both the Water-Attribute Magician and the Chief.
Both were individuals that could be a nuisance if left alone.
In that case, she should just take this opportunity to erase both of them!
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