In the sewers of Lower Solia, Hamil cringed. His body was in shambles.
‘To think that the four we tried to mug yesterday were from the Iphelleta House. We had rotten luck… No, perhaps it was a good luck?’
Although he couldn’t breathe very well, he was still alive.
It was because the Iphelleta House’s butler showed him mercy.
Hamil thought he was a goner for sure.
All things considered, it was correct to say that Hamil was fortunate.
“Is it morning…no, evening?”
Hamil tilted his head up to look through an opening in the sewer’s ceiling to estimate the time.
The color of the sky was a mix of orange and dark blue.
“I arrived in the evening, but I woke up when the sun was about to set… Looks like I was asleep throughout the whole day. Well, I had a rough day yesterday.”
His body was in a horrible shape, and he also had to carry Beta on his back all the way here because she was knocked unconscious.
Even Hamil thought that his mental strength was worthy of praise.
“Uu… Hey, Beta. Are you still among the living?”
Hamil raised his body up, which was aching all over, and looked for Beta, who he struggled to bring back here yesterday.
Beta was nearby.
“Damn it. Damn it. That lassie…”
She was trying to compose her breathing.
She had serious injuries on an arm and a hand, but she appeared to be all right in other places.
“Are you… alright?”
“Do I look alright to you?!”
Beta shouted loudly.
Her voice was loud enough to echo through the sewer.
Someone in Lower Solia said ‘Shut up!’ in response to her roar.
“Damn it, my arm, and…my hand are busted. It’s the end for me.”
To hide the desperate look on her face, Beta was lying down on her stomach, even if it meant rubbing her face on the sewer’s floor.
Because she couldn’t use her hand, it looked like it would be difficult for her to get up by herself.
“It is not the end. You just need to get them healed by going to the temple.”
“Those high and mighty people lending a helping hand to me, someone from Lower Solia? Ha! That’s not even funny.”
Hamil, who at least still had working arms, struggled to get near Beta and helped her to get up.
Her face was messed up with her tears and runny nose. It looked funny.
Although Beta’s face was making Hamil to have a hard time keeping himself from laughing, he managed. Hamil only showed a serious and sincere expression on his face, and he started talking to Beta in order to calm her down.
Beta and Hamil were looking face to face at each other for a while. She roughly wiped off her tears with her shoulder and then got up.
“Now that it has come to this… I will have my revenge.”
Her legs were fine at least. Beta got up, and immediately, she started to go somewhere.
Upon hearing the word 'revenge,' Hamil tried to get up so he could stop Beta.
However, he was not able to.
The parts of his body, his legs, that were on the receiving end of that old butler’s beating were not quite recovered yet.
“Stop this, Beta!”
Since Hamil could barely walk at the moment, he couldn’t get to her. Instead, he tried to convince her to stop with his words.
However, Beta’s steps didn’t stop.
“It would be faster if you just ran the casino!”
Hamil’s voice was becoming more and more distant for Beta, but she still did not stop.
She continued on, turned a corner on the sewer’s corridors, and said,
“…I will use the garbage!”
She screamed those words out loud and clear. It was so Hamil on the other side, who was still trying to convince her to reconsider, could hear. Beta then continued walking.
In Lower Solia, there was a saying,
‘If you are bitten, then bite back harder.’
Beta was insisting on practicing those words. Her eyes were exuding murderous intent.
Beta walked far to the point that she could no longer hear Hamil’s voice. Eventually, she stopped at a corner of the sewer.
In front of her, there was someone sleeping with a rag as the cover.
Beta kicked the person sleeping in the corner.
“Hey. Nainiae, I said wake up.”
‘How could someone sleep so soundly on a stone floor?’
Even though Beta kicked her several times, this girl named ‘Nainiae’ was not waking up. Beta used the tip of her foot to quickly get rid of the rag to the side.
“Can’t you hear me? I’m telling you to get up!”
The rag made rustling noise in the air and eventually flew into the sewer’s dirty water.
With her blanket gone and the sound echoing in her ears, Nainiae, who was sleeping until now, batted her eyes and looked up at Beta.
Beta scrunched up her face for a moment.
Beta was disgusted by seeing her disturbing face.
It would have been nicer if that was all that Beta had to endure. Instead, she could also smell a terrible stench.
It was worse than something coming from trash.
‘This thing is a woman…’
Beta was thinking that if she was Nainiae, she would have hanged herself. Nainiae asked Beta,
“Beta… What brings you here?”
Two of her fingers were missing. One would never know if she just lost them or sold them.
Nainiae’s right hand had only three fingers. Using her right hand, she carefully got rid of eye boogers from her horrid looking face.
What happened to her face could have been the result of a chemical bottle shattering on her face. The burn from the chemical left her face with one side having a different shade from the other, and one of her eyes was white like that of a dead person.
‘It feels like asking a favor of a dead person.’
Beta tried to hold in the urge to throw up and said,
“I-I have a favor to ask.”
Nainiae’s dead eye’s gaze was directed to Beta. Bearing the stench, Beta smiled brightly and answered,
“Yes. This is something that cannot be done without you.”
“Something that cannot be done without me?”
“That’s right. You are the only one that can do it. I have faith in you. That’s why I’m asking you for this favor.”
Nainiae fell into silence, deep in thought.
Breaking the silence, Nainiae lowered her head slightly and murmured.
Nainiae stood up sluggishly.
She looked frail like a person who was in a critical condition.
Beta flickered the corner of her lips.
In middle of Solia’s main plaza, people from the Erengium House were able to leave the arena before the people in the spectator seats because they participated in the tournament. Now, they were on their way to Lower Solia.
“That’s when I deflected that bastard’s twin blades with a single blow. After that, I charged right in!”
Erengium’s second-born son was boasting as he told the tall tales about the details of the tournament from today, but he tilted his head to a side and said,
“… Big bro?”
It was because his big bro looked as if he was possessed by something.
His eyes were twitching.
His arms were crossed, but his arms weren’t just snugly holding his body. They were almost tightly constricting it.
Aplyon grabbed on to his big bro’s shoulder, shook him lightly, and said,
“Big bro, is there…something going on?”
His big bro used to be always energetic and full of laughter.
It was very odd to see him acting like this.
“No. It’s nothing… There was nothing.”
Aploc finally replied to his little brother’s question and shook his head hard.
Still, his face was that of a man chock-full of fear.
“Something happened, didn’t it? What happened? Please tell me! Didn’t you say that it is better to think about difficult problems together?”
“Have I not already told you that there was nothing wrong!?”
Aploc opened up his arms, which were crossed till now, and struck down his little brother with a swing of his arm.
Not able to withstand his big bro’s strength, Aplyon’s back collided with the carriage’s wall.
“Big… Big bro…”
The servant driving the carriage quietly took a quick peek behind him into the carriage.
He could see Aploc’s servant who was severely injured.
It was certain that something must have happened.
However, Aploc was not about to open his mouth to explain it.
It was as if he was brainwashed by someone.
“It is nothing. Do not…mind it.”
Again, Aploc crossed his arms, hugged his armpits, and started to shiver.
‘Fortunately, everyone is keeping their mouths shut.’
On top of the carriage.
Riley was relieved after hearing the voices from the carriage below.
It appeared that making things clear to them while he was inside Solia Castle was quite effective.
‘If they talked, it would have been an inconvenience to me.’
Riley fiddled with the mask he was wearing. He was just about to take off the mask and return to the Solia Castle.
He could feel eyes on him.
Riley focused his ears.
There were gazes staring directly at him.
As he focused his ears, he could hear voices nearby.
“…That’s the guy.”
“Yes. The young master that Beta spoke of is that one.”
“Young master? That runt wearing a mask?”
‘…What did you say?’
The carriage was running forward without resting.
There were two people blocking its path.
The two were glaring at Riley on top of the carriage as if they were trying to burn holes through him with their gazes.
“But, I don’t see any escorts? What happened to the maid and the butler? And besides all that…what’s a young master from the Iphelleta House doing on top of a carriage like that? Even wearing a mask?”
Of the two people blocking the carriage’s path, one of them shook head.
This one had a dirty rag-like fabric covering entire body from the top of the head. This one looked worse than a beggar.
“I don’t know about that. As for the reasons why the escorts are not with him, I don’t know that either. However, of all people that Beta mentioned, that guy is the one that’s closest to us.”
Erengium’s carriage charged forward as it kicked off dirt.
The servant who was driving the carriage turned pale after realizing that there were two people standing right on its path. He waved at them and screamed,
“You two over there! Please get out of the way! Out of the way!”
It looked like the two had no intention of moving out of the way.
They simply stood there on the carriage’s path and stared at Riley who was wearing a mask.
“What are you going to do, Beta?”
The one concealed under the rag asked Beta who was standing on the side.
“Isn’t it obvious… Actually this is better. That it turned out like this…”
Beta twisted the corners of her lips and said,
“Just kill him.”
After hearing the conversation, Riley was about to laugh out of their ridiculousness, but then he suddenly opened his eyes wide.
The one covered in rag put forward one hand.
It was a right hand with its middle and pinky fingers missing.
In front of that hand, it looked like mana was accumulating.
It eventually turned to a black-colored light. [TL: I understand that a black colored light is impossible by default, but that’s what the author said. Think of a magic effect from movies or animes with a mysterious black colored energy.]
The one under the rag spoke,
Along with the casting of the spell, the black-colored light became sharp.
Soon, a pitch black-colored lightning bolt was launched.
The Erengium House’s carriage was pierced through by the lightning spear.
With a single strike, the servant on the carriage’s driver seat turned to burned charcoal.
Of course, having lost the driver, the horses ran amok and neighed wildly.
The black lightning pierced through the servant and obliterated the top of the carriage.
Aploc and Aplyon were tossed out of the carriage, and the Erengium House’s carriage was overturned on the side.
As for Riley who was on the top of the carriage,
‘That just now… It cannot be?’
With his eyes wide open, he landed on top of a building nearby.
“Did it miss…”
The gaze of the one covered under the rug moved toward the rooftop where Riley landed.
Due to the chaos that came about without any warning, the citizens in Solia’s main plaza were screaming and running all over the place in panic.
“It’s magic! Magic!”
“Someone is shooting magic attacks at random!”
It was a complete mess.
The Main Plaza was turned chaotic in an instant. Watching this, Riley cringed and glared at the ‘mage’ wearing a rag.
‘By chance, is that…’
Under the rag, although it was hard to see due to the shadow, the face underneath was beyond hideous.
One of the eyes was white and dead. The skin was red and peeled off as if burned by a chemical.
The ‘mage’ that Riley was looking at said,
“Just you wait. Beta said she has faith in me. That’s why...”
Mana accumulated behind her, and then it started to exude black colored light.
The mage murmured,
“… I need to show her my gratitude.”
Having witnessed the large boulder-sized magic spells floating about in the air, Riley gulped.
He had never seen these kinds of fireworks or ice formations. Not even in his past life.
Thank you to everyone who emailed regarding the editor position for TLS! We're still accepting applications and will have them reviewed this weekend. On a side note, our translator for TLS has more time to translate now, so sponsored chapters for TLS has dropped to $20 for the time being. We'll try to bring 2-3 chapters a week now, compared to last year's one chapter a week schedule. If you'd like to encourage the translator for this, feel free to donate!