Chapter 0374 Raid
After spending the night in the capital city of Goslon, Ryo left the duchy in a carriage prepared by Goslon Duchy.
All that remained was to return to the Holy Capital Marlomar.
From Goslon to the Holy Capital was three days by carriage.
…If nothing happened.
It was only about twenty kilometers to the border of Goslon Duchy.
On the road between towns.
A sudden impact struck the carriage.
The carriage was sent flying. The horses. And coachman altogether.
The carriage’s wheels were shattered and the carriage was crushed.
“Come on out. You surely won’t die from such a measly accident, will you?”
The voice was very calm for someone who had done something so flashy.
In response to that voice, a huge hole opened in the collapsed carriage, and Ryo in a robe appeared from inside.
“That’s one remarkably flashy attack. Bishop Abelardo, Bishop Brigitta, and Bishop Dionisi.”
Ryo was attacked by three of the ‘Four Bishops of the Pope’.
“Sir Ryo of the Kingdom Delegation. Or should I call you Duke Rondo? I warned you before. If you’re deemed to be a threat to the Church, we’ll eliminate you.”
Bishop Abelardo at the front declared.
His tone was as normal as before, but Ryo could sense a slight hint of irritation mixed in.
“Sure, I remember…. But I haven’t done anything that should be seen as a threat by the Church, have I?”
Ryo answered, tilting his head.
He, in fact, believed so… but?
“Bullshit! After purchasing a ship from the Republic, an enemy of the Church. How much money did you give to the Republic? What would you call that if not an act of hostility?”
“Oh, now I understand.”
Bishop Dionisi pointed out in a rough tone, and Ryo finally understood somewhat.
Thinking about it, they were right in a way.
“That’s why the Church has decided to get rid of you.”
Bishop Abelardo announced in a calm voice.
“The Church did…. Pardon me, but can you tell me who gave the order to the three of you?”
“His Holiness the Pope, of course.”
“The Pope… with his own mouth?”
“Of course. His Holiness the Pope always gives us our orders himself.”
Abelardo replied, bowing his head reverently.
At the same time, Brigitta and Dionisi also bowed.
The loyalty of the three to the Pope seemed to be absolute.
If the Pope had decided to eliminate Ryo, even if he were able to defeat the three and return to the Holy Capital, things would certainly become more troublesome….
However, it wasn’t the time to think about that.
With the crisis looming in front of him, he would have to deal with it first before leisurely thinking about it!
Ryo thought so, and the moment he switched his gaze… a strange feeling came over him.
A strange feeling that he had felt before.
One that he had felt many times before.
The first time was when he encountered the one-eyed Assassin Hawk in the Rondo Forest….
“No way… magic nullification in a place like this?”
Ryo muttered, and the three bishops were in turn surprised.
Abelardo seemed to have restrained his surprise quite well, but not perfectly.
Even Brigitta’s expression changed slightly.
Dionisi’s expression was practically conveying, ‘How did you know?’.
The three of them were surprised, and so was Ryo.
Indeed, Ryo was surprised, too.
But Ryo couldn’t help but smile… though he was not aware of it.
“Why are you smiling? For a magician, magic nullification is tantamount to a death sentence…. Have you resigned yourself to your fate?”
Abelardo asked, furrowing his eyebrows.
He didn’t know why Ryo was smiling.
“I didn’t mean to smile. Just that, with the magic nullification, it means that one of you has some kind of device that causes magic nullification… perhaps an alchemy tool, right? And that’s just something I’d very much love to see.”
Ryo was still smiling.
“Fool! For someone that’s about to die. You can forget about it!”
“I see, so you do have one, a magic nullifying alchemy tool. Well, you said it, I can see it if I survive.”
Ryo nodded twice, pulled Murasame from its sheath, and produced a blade of ice.
Then he said.
“In the Central Countries, it’s normal for magicians to be able to fight in close quarters.”
Shouting so, Dionisi’s hand flashed and he leaped into the air.
Three daggers shot out from his hands, and at the same time, Dionisi also jumped toward Ryo with daggers in both hands.
He parried the three daggers and received the dagger in Dionisi’s right hand with Murasame.
At that moment, Dionisi slashed at Ryo with the dagger in his left hand.
He knocked it down with the hilt of Murasame and then thrust at him using the recoil.
Dionisi clicked his tongue and stepped backward to put some distance between them.
As Dionisi stepped out of Ryo’s range, something shiny approached from Ryo’s right!
The moment he caught it at the corner of his vision, he tilted his head and dodged by a hair’s breadth.
However, he soon realized that was a mistake.
It wasn’t a thrown dagger.
He hurriedly hunkered down and ducked.
A stick swung through the air ‘from behind’ where Ryo’s lowered head previously was….
A weapon consisting of three sticks about sixty centimeters long and four centimeters thick, chained together to form a single staff… though he had only seen it in kung-fu movies, even Ryo knew about it.
And even though he knew about it, he’d never seen the weapon in use outside of the movies.
Yet Brigitta was wielding it….
Brigitta is a woman, but she is about a hundred and sixty centimeters tall.
So, she seemed to be able to spin the three-section staff around her body without any particular difficulty.
On the left was Dionisi dual-wielding daggers.
On the right, Brigitta with a three-section staff.
Naturally, he was concerned about Abelardo in the center, but… he just stood stationary and simply watched Ryo.
(His type is the most difficult to deal with.)
Ryo sighed softly.
(Brigitta can simulate and make amazing predictions. The best way to defeat someone like her is… to outperform her in speed, I guess? And the iron rule of one-to-many. Line the enemies up in one direction.)
Ryo took the initiative and launched at Brigitta.
Brigitta’s three-section staff seemed to be impervious to Ryo’s Murasame.
With calculated exchanges, Ryo switched positions with Brigitta.
In this direction, all three enemies were within in sight.
Occasionally, Dionisi would throw daggers at him, but since he could see them, they didn’t really pose a threat.
He continued to fight, moving little by little.
In that way, he secured a position with the wreckage of the carriage behind him.
Gaining a safe spot behind him.
(Now, I just need to go with the usual! )
Ryo’s ironclad defense.
Even with one against two, Ryo’s defense was unbreachable.
And so, while Ryo was defending against their attacks, he noticed something.
It was the expression on Abelardo’s face, the only one not taking part in the battle.
He was dripping with cold sweat and sometimes even twisting his face in pain.
Abelardo, who had always been so calm and had shown considerable restraint even in his expression of surprise.
(He’s not participating in the battle even though it’s at a standstill. Cold sweat, pain… magic nullification…)
Ryo was thinking about such things while engaged in battle.
In other words, the situation was such that he had the leeway to do that.
Brigitta’s ability was tricky, but when it came to such close quarters and high-speed combat, there were few situations in which it could be utilized.
Of course, neither Dionisi nor Brigitta were weak by any means.
In fact, they should be among the top ten… human opponents that Ryo had ever fought.
But simply put, that was about it.
Compared to the non-humans Ryo had fought….
Compared to the vampire swordsman he fought in the magic-nullifying space, he was fighting with so much ease.
He was not as cornered as he was back when he fought the one-eyed Assassin Hawk who employed magic nullification.
The three of them thought that they could easily defeat Ryo, a magician, by putting him in a position where his magic was rendered useless.
Boy, were they wrong.
Despite being a magician, he was strong in close combat.
Ryo was that kind of magician….
(I think I got it.)
Ryo stepped back and distanced himself from Brigitta.
And Brigitta, as if waiting for him to do that, attacked with her three-section staff extended.
Ryo dodged the tip of the three-section staff homing in on him by taking a half step forward with his right foot, and while dodging, he severed the fully extended connecting parts of the three-section staff.
At about the same time, leaning forward, he struck back one of the daggers that Dionisi had thrown with Murasame, as if he were hitting a ball with a bat.
Aiming at Abelardo.
The flying dagger pierced Abelardo in the gut.
Abelardo involuntarily fell to his knees.
Leaving them both looking at Abelardo in surprise, Ryo rushed over to Abelardo and kicked him in the head as he bent over.
Abelardo was sent flying.
Something flew out of his left hand.
Ryo reached out and caught it.
Something cylindrical, about the size of a 350 ml can.
While Ryo reached out to take it and check it out, Dionisi and Brigitta picked Abelardo who was sent flying and took off.
Ryo watched as a carriage appeared in the distance, picked up the three of them, and left.
There was no need to defeat the three of them and more importantly, he was curious about the cylinder in his hand.
Perhaps it was the alchemy tool that generated the magic nullification.
But after seeing that look on Abelardo’s face, he couldn’t muster the courage to try it out himself….
“I’ll just take it as a souvenir for Kenneth.”
But then Ryo realized.
His carriage had already been destroyed.
And the coachman was still unconscious, having been blown away.
Ryo let out a deep, loud sigh.