On the path connecting the Iphelleta mansion and Iffa village, there was a forest.
If someone were to ask of the state of the forest right now...
It was filled with stench of blood.
The pools of blood made by the headless bodies of the assassins would make anyone turn back in horror.
‘Am I dreaming right now?’
The boy who was walking toward him as he swung the blade in the air...
It was a sight that made Tes convinced that he was dreaming.
It was Riley.
The lazy, slothful boy, he as the master of the trading guild never had any interest in, was now edging closer after killing countless assassins like a demon.
He was telling them they were next.
Tes and Lady Orelly were the last ones left.
Tes’s eyes began to shift around as he regained his consciousness.
Just as Riley had stated, there weren’t any assassins left around them.
‘I can’t die like this.’
It seemed that Riley never had any intention to let any witnesses live.
That was what Tes believed.
Not even as an assassin, but as a merchant, he should be able to figure that much out.
He was also aware that he needed to put everything he had on the line to be able to get out alive.
If he couldn’t, then at least his daughter...
Did the gods send him help?
Tes’s lips slowly began to show movement.
He began to stutter on his words.
Riley who was standing in front of them with his sword held up high stopped at Tes’s voice.
Riley’s eyes narrowed.
Tes swallowed loudly at his stare.
He had seen many people as the master of the trading guild, but he was unable to read the thoughts of the boy in front of him.
In contrast to Riley’s young age, Tes could see maturity and experience behind those eyes.
“You, you may kill me.”
Tes’s eyes shifted to the side.
What his eyes were searching was the daughter who was behind him, Orelly.
She may have grown up a little twisted, but she was his only child.
“You may kill me, but my daughter...let Orelly live.”
Tes looked at Riley convinced of his own demise, while his daughter whose lips quivered in fear had her body paralysed.
“The limit of my restraint was 5 minutes... no, 4 minutes?”
Riley mumbled to himself in response to Tes’s pleading.
Tes blinked his eyes, unable to hear those words, then began to beg once more.
“It is true the child has done wrong, but she wasn’t as bad as now before. She was a nice girl. Just, just...!”
Let the daughter live.
Please let her live.
“It’s as I expected.”
Tes’s eyes shook slightly after hearing his reply.
As he expected?
What did he expect?
Before he could reply back, Riley’s wooden sword cut through the wind.
It was the greatest mercy Riley could give them.
Riley had chosen to take their lives at the same time, to not let them see each other die.
The father and daughter collapsed onto their knees and fell forward.
Riley’s face began to darken as he saw the bodies grow cold on the ground.
Riley was staring at the two bodies as if contemplating something, then turned his head.
Unlike 5 minutes ago, there were bodies everywhere.
Riley’s face began to worsen as he stabbed the wooden sword in the ground.
Riley pressed his temples as if having a headache, then leaned forward and covered his mouth with his hand.
As if he was feeling nauseated, Riley began to throw up.
It wasn’t because of the guilt for his actions.
It was because he released his mana in order to stop all the assassins, Tes and Orelly from moving.
It was the side effect of ‘Restraint’, which made his ki flow erratically.
Riley, who just threw up on the ground all the popcorn he had recently eaten, stopped his hand that was about to wipe his mouth.
He thought he might garner some suspicion if he were to leave any strange marks on his clothes.
‘I can say these cuts were made from the kitchen, but this is different.’
Other than the cuts on his clothes, he didn’t have any blood on him.
In order to not leave any evidence, he made sure to be careful with every strike he made at the assassins.
After all the trouble he had gone through, taking all the most difficult actions, it would be quite unfair if his capabilities were to be found out because of the puke he had produced.
‘No, I could say I got sick from eating too fast?’
It’s nothing like blood.
As he began to think, he determined this was acceptable enough and began to wipe his mouth with his sleeves.
“Well, this body is different from before. And this body is too young to store anywhere near the amount of power I had before... I guess there’s nothing I can do.”
Riley’s hands were shaking from the adverse effect of using his power too much.
Riley began to talk to himself again as he clenched and unclenched his hand.
“This was something like a test...but I don’t think I can use mana for a while. If I’m moving, I should just use the sword.”
His opponents were assassins this time.
Not just any assassins, but the elites who were masters of escape of which he could not leave any behind in order to keep his secret.
It was quite violent, but Riley’s choice now was the most efficient one he could have chosen.
“Then, shall I go back?”
He already had a plan for cleaning the bodies.
So he checked his appearance once more and began to walk.
“Ian would’ve gone nuts at this point.”
Riley made a bitter smile as he decided an apology was in order.
The cold night’s winds began to blow on the corpses in the forest.
The incident of Riley’s disappearance had finally reached Count Stein’s ears.
Sera and Ian who were trying not to anger Stein who had exploded before because of Lady Orelly gasped loudly and then began to make hiccups.
“Tell me again carefully Ian. Riley has disappeared?”
Riley was already being treated like trash in the mansion.
What would happen if the words ‘he has likely been kidnapped by the assassins’ were said when Count Stein was completely furious already?
Ian and Sera who did not want to consider the consequences shut their mouths and looked at each other.
Hypothetically, Count Stein was likely to say these words:
‘What? He’s been kidnapped by the assassins? Pathetic, there is no need to look for him. The Iphelleta House does not need such a failure.’
...then Riley would be in similar situation to Orelly who had just been banished.
Which meant, they wouldn’t be allowed to save the young master.
Ian who had little talent for words began to squeeze his brain for ideas.
How can I get through this crisis?
What excuses do I make?
Just when his dry lips were about to open...
“...Did you call for me?”
A familiar voice sounded behind Ian.