At Solia Castle, at the arena’s grandstand, Sera explained it to Priesia as she tried not to get on Priesia’s nerves. Sera pointed to the seat where Riley was sitting and said,
“Hey. So what I’m saying is… Until just a moment ago, he was sitting with us here.”
“He was sitting here?”
Priesia gave a blank stare at the seat that Sera pointed at.
There was only a brown-sugar beer holding the seat.
“Do you know where he went now?”
“That is… He said he needed to use the restroom.”
Sera didn’t quite finish the sentence as if she was embarrassed. She looked at Ian.
It was because before Riley disappeared, he said he was leaving to find Ian.
Ian that Riley went to find was now here.
Ian’s face was shaded in darkness.
Sera noticed that Ian’s face was more serious than her own, and she couldn’t continue explaining anymore. Instead, her shoulders slouched down.
‘As I thought, we should have brought more servants as escorts…’
Sera tried to make excuses in her mind, but still she started to blame herself and critiqued her qualification as a maid.
Of the three from the House of Iphelleta, Iris was the only one that at least kept her composure. She asked Priesia,
“Ms. Priesia, what would you do? Would you like to wait here?”
Priesia touched her lips.
At the same time, both Sera and Ian’s eyes were rolling all over the place.
As for Ian, he was turning the light on his eyes in order to find Riley’s energy immediately even at the expense of spending mana.
While Ian and Sera were on the edge, Priesia didn’t answer Iris’s question, and instead, she walked toward where Riley was sitting.
Hide-and-Seek. Score: 9 losses out of 9 rounds.
So far, Ian lost every time, but he was thinking he would definitely find him this time.
Determined, Ian’s eyes were burning.
He looked at Priesia and thought,
‘What is she trying to do?’
Priesia walked to where Riley was sitting and carefully picked up the cup containing the brown-sugar beer, which was about half full.
‘Is she going to use her holy power?’
‘A priestess, a being blessed by the goddess Irenetsa… Is she trying to use her holy power to find Riley?’
Ian watched Priesia with high expectations.
With her thumb, she brushed the bear cup that she picked up, and she sharpened her eyes.
It looked like she was not liking something.
‘No, did I get the wrong idea?’
‘By the way, why did she pick up the brown-sugar beer cup of all things?’
‘Was she thirsty?’
‘Is she going to quench her thirst with that?’
Ian was about to shake his head.
By the sudden forceful grip of her hand, the beer cup in her hand was completely crushed.
Because of the violent sound, Iris, Ian, Sera, and even the priests from Solia Temple flinched their shoulders.
As if she finally regained her consciousness, Priesia gave a blank stare and said,
“I am sorry. What did you just say?”
And then, she turned her head toward Iris and gave her a refreshing smile.
However, from her right hand, which crushed the cup, the brown-sugar beer’s black liquid was dripping and wetting the floor.
For those that could see how she looked, the atmosphere felt like it was demanding silence.
‘As… As I thought. It was because of what happened the day before yesterday!’
The violently sharp atmosphere that the priestess displayed for a moment made Ian remember the time when Riley badmouthed the priestess at Solia Temple the day before yesterday.
‘She is definitely still angry! It looks like…it would probably be best if the young master stayed hidden from her until the priestess goes back to the temple…’
In the restroom’s corridor, Riley was able to toy with the first-born son of Erengium House as if he was just a rag-doll.
Ian wasn’t hoping to feel relieved about Riley this way, but regardless, no matter where Riley may be, Ian figured that Riley wouldn’t be in a pinch that was more serious than this one.
Ian relaxed his face a little and started to mind people’s nerves.
Breaking the tense atmosphere, the people who were gathered around where Riley was sitting suddenly turned their heads toward the origin of the voice.
As if he ran here at full speed, the priest’s face was covered with sweat. He presented the priestess with something.
It looked like a message from someone.
“N-Now, at the Main Plaza area, something terrib-…”
Before the priest could finish his sentence, they could hear an explosion in the distance.
The explosion could be heard from over the wall, coming from the Main Plaza’s direction.
* * *
It was incredibly loud.
A large lump of flame, created by the power called magic, was launched and collided with a building. The explosive sound had an incredible intensity. It made those hearing it go temporarily deaf.
Screams were being buried under the noise of explosions.
The Main Plaza was in a state of festivities because of the King’s Swordsmanship Tournament. Now, the scenery could be summarized in one word, hell.
‘I only read about it in books. This is the first time seeing it for real.’
Another magic attack was launched at Riley.
He jumped over a roof and barely dodged the magic and looked at the woman under the rag…no, a frail, little girl under the rag who was indiscriminately shooting magic attacks.
‘She looks young.’
She looked substantially younger than Peruda, the one that guided him in the Magic Tower.
Her appearance looked horrifying.
Riley went over the varieties of magic and the number of shots that the girl was launching. Riley then sharpened his eyes.
‘She is so young, yet she is able to shoot so many shots of magic. Is that possible?’
Riley racked his brain trying to clear his doubts.
Solia’s guards who were in charge of the Main Plaza realized the situation and were running this way.
The guards were wearing armor.
It looked like they were skilled, but Riley thought they couldn’t stop this girl.
That was because,
“What are you?! If you don’t surrender immediately… Kuuaaak!”
One by one, the guards who were charging in like that were struck by her magic attacks and either became burned charcoal or shattered crystals after becoming frozen solid.
‘Sera wouldn’t be able to handle this. Looks like someone at least at Ian’s level should come.’
Riley looked around to assess the situation.
The damage was piling up, but he couldn’t sense anyone capable of stopping her, coming this way.
‘Ugh… The dumbasses from Erengium… Now would be the time to step up, yet they don’t have a grip on their nerves.’
When the carriage turned over as it got destroyed, perhaps they hit their heads or sustained injuries from the magic attack. The two young masters from the Erengium House were bleeding from their heads and lying unconscious.
‘I have to stop this?’
Under the mask, Riley scrunched up his face.
It was cool to see the magic, but it looked like he was not liking the idea of having to do something himself.
With her chanting, the girl created a fireball and immediately launched it toward Riley.
Riley, who was watching the situation from a roof, clicked his tongue and leaped to another roof.
With an explosive sound, the roof that Riley was standing on a moment ago was destroyed and engulfed in flames.
‘But, really…she is fighting really comfortably.’
Upon setting foot on another roof, Riley looked at the girl who only changed the direction of her hand.
It looked like she was about to use magic yet again.
In light of this, Riley’s look in his eyes changed.
‘Magic… Should I really try learning it once?’
At least, unlike hard labor of swinging a sword, it looked way more comfortable to go ‘bam bam’ and shoot high-powered magic attacks from a distance like she was doing.
Other miscellaneous magic could be convenient as well, and Riley was thinking how nice it would be to have the teleportation ability.
While Riley was deep in thought, appearing to have readied her magic, the three-fingered girl under the rag created a boulder-sized icicle with her magic spell chant and shot it at Riley.
“How about you realize what’s happening a little by now?”
Riley unsheathed the sword on his waist and swung his right arm at a speed far greater than the icicle that was flying toward him.
In the end, the icicle was able to get close to Riley, but it was still impossible for it to deal any damage to Riley.
Under the rag, the girl’s expression twitched.
It was because the icicle that she sent was cut clean in half without any sound and crashed to the ground.
“What… What are you doing? Nainiae! Kill that bastard! I said kill him!”
Her voice was hysteric.
After easily slicing the ice magic that was launched at him, he turned his head toward where the voice was coming from.
The owner of the voice was shivering and quickly walked behind the girl under the rag when she saw Riley looking at her.
The woman, who scrunched her face for a moment due to the girl’s stench, firmed her face again and ordered the girl,
“Nainiae, hurry up and just kill him… We are running out of time. I have faith in you?”
“All right, Beta. Just trust me. I will get it done. I will kill him. I will kill him fast.”
Riley dusted off the sword he used to slice through the ice magic. With a gaze that looked like how one stares at something he finds to be an annoying pest, Riley looked at the woman standing behind the girl.
It was when Riley first arrived in Solia.
It was the woman from the ‘pickpocket incident’ that he watched as he was drinking a brown-sugar beer.
That was not all.
It was the same woman that targeted their wallets when he was enjoying his time together with Iris taking a walk through street vendors.
‘Really, Ian and Sera sure have big hearts. They are too kind.’
If there was no way to make it certain that they never bother Riley’s party again, Sera and Ian should have taken more extreme measures. That would have been the best.
Riley thought Sera and Ian eliminated that woman back then. Upon realizing that it was not the case, Riley sighed.
‘It cannot be helped.’
There was someone in front of him that was saying she would bring him more bothersome troubles if she was left to her own devices. Therefore, there was only one option that Riley could take.
‘Now that it turned out like this. I should clean up the bothersome stuff and take care of other businesses as well.’
Riley looked at the magic appearing in mid air, and then he looked at the eyes of the girl casting the magic.
It was intriguing.
Other than a ghastly appearance, her eye behind her hair could be seen.
Her eye looked familiar to Riley. He felt like he had seen it somewhere before.
‘…Should I go for a test run?’
Riley lowered his chin as he fiddled with the sword’s handle.
* * *
To immediately capture and bring in the culprit that shattered the mana measurement boulder.
It was the assignment given to Peruda the day before yesterday, for the one who was in charge of the Magic Tower’s first floor.
The assignment even had a time limit of ‘before the Great Mage Astroa notices it.’
He was in mid-twenties.
He had a whole life ahead of him.
However, his face was cast in shadows.
“At this rate, am I going to get kicked out of the Magic Tower?”
‘Am I going to be able to handle the assignment within the time limit?’
The answer was, ‘impossible.’
Peruda was thinking that way.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have a guess on who might have done it.
“Riley? Did you say Riley? If ‘Riley’ is his name, isn’t that the Lazy Swordsman from Iphelleta House?”
The very last visitor, that came before the boulder incident happened, was the most likely suspect. Since that guest even touched the mana measurement boulder with his bare hand, there was no need to doubt.
That should be the case.
However, Peruda shook his head.
“No. That does not make sense at all.”
However, that was insufficient.
There was not enough evidence.
“It is impossible to do…”
It was a problem that the suspect is ‘Riley,’ the one that scored average on the mana estimate sphere.
From his mansion, Riley was infamous for being a lazy-ass. In fact, he was even called a vegetable. The rumors about the third-born young master were pretty widespread.
The boulder was for monsters, and even Astroa could not cause a crack on it by touching it with bare hands. Yet Riley was able to make it fall apart by fiddling with it a little?
It was nonsense.
Every little kid passing by would have answered the same.
Coming down from Right Solia, Peruda was heading toward the Main Plaza, and he tilted his head in an angle as he heard the explosion coming from nearby.
After hearing the noise again, Peruda narrowed his eyes.
‘This burning sound… This explosion noise… It is definitely Fireball?’
He got on his knees to put his hand on the ground. Peruda gently closed his eyes.
‘Indeed. It is Fireball.’
Using a detection magic of his own, Peruda realized that the noise just now was from Fireball, a mid-level magic used by mages. Peruda opened his eyes and got up.
“It’s a mage! A mage is running amok!”
From the Main Plaza’s direction, there were people running away from it. Having realized what’s happening, Peruda gritted his teeth.
“What kind of crazy bastard is using attack magic in the Main Plaza without permission?”
Even now, yet another explosion sounded.
The sounds of people’s screams were getting more intense, and Peruda’s face became sharper in response.
“I must stop this…”
Peruda didn’t know how to use magic that would enable him to fly, so he hastened his steps.
Fortunately, it appeared the situation was happening nearby.
Eventually, Peruda arrived at the scene of hell. He gave a blank stare as he opened his mouth.
“That… That is?”
The one he saw first was the girl under the rags who had three fingers and shooting magic indiscriminately.
“That… That is… Why here?!”
Black-colored flame, ice, and lightning magic. Peruda watched them with a blank stare. His lips were trembling as he murmured.
“Was it not dis…disposed of?”
The girl under the rag who Peruda was staring at used magic once again.
Peruda was moving his firm gaze to where the magic was headed. A question mark floated up on his face.
In that direction, there was a man wearing a mask. He was easily deflecting the magic attacks with a sword.