It was at Lower Solia.
Peruda was fighting a tough battle.
“At this rate…”
To explain why he was having a tough time, he was having a hard time escaping Lower Solia, which was like a maze.
He was trying to stop the corpses from crawling out of Lower Solia and spread to the Main Plaza and other directions. He had been sealing off every entrance that lead to Lower Solia. Now, he was trapped in Lower Solia and unable to escape.
‘The pathways are too complicated.’
Thinking he should block the pathways more tightly and thoroughly, Peruda walked into Lower Solia just a little bit. However, by the time he realized it, before long, he was trapped in Lower Solia. He had been wondering around for a very long time.
“How many hours has it been… No, how many days has it been?”
He was not sure about his sense of time.
Peruda could not know how long it had been since he was trapped here. However, he could tell one thing for certain.
Somebody in Lower Solia was getting in his way of escaping this place.
He knew because…
“Damn it, again…”
It felt like he had been going in circles, so Peruda had been putting marks on the floor or the sewer walls so he would not get confused. However, someone had been tempering with the marks, and Peruda noticed this.
‘Someone is changing the path marks.’
It seemed Peruda was anxious. He mumbled with a serious look on his face.
The direction of the dirty water’s flow, locations of makeshift plate bridges, narrow paths between buildings that look similar, and even sheets of fabrics that were placed to hide hidden pathways… Everything was changing little by little.
“God damn it… I can’t get out.”
Getting lost was not the only problem.
There were pitch-black eyes corpses swinging their claws at Peruda who was circling and circling Lower Solia.
Having heard the cry coming from the back, Peruda cringed and twitched his fingers he had lowered earlier.
There was a corpse that was approaching Peruda, but it was stopped by sharp vines that came out of the ground which pierced its legs.
“Could these things have done it?”
The pathway in Lower Solia was changing. Wondering if it was done by the corpses, Peruda looked at it. Peruda shook his head.
‘No, these runts do not have any intelligence.’
Peruda used plant roots to pierce the corpse’s body and restrain it. It was like kabob with meat. Peruda closely observed the corpse’s body and ground his teeth.
‘It is being controlled by someone, but it is definitely a corpse. It is a dead person.’
The corpse was struggling while being pierced by the vines. It was moving its arm toward Peruda, struggling.
The vine that pierced its leg had penetrated and came out above its shoulder. Despite that, instead of losing strength, the corpse was struggling even more.
‘It is like a puppet.’
Even when its arms were cut off, and even when its head was chopped off, the corpse moved. For the first time in his life, Peruda hated his innate magic type.
‘Only if I could use some other type of magic..’
To eliminate the corpses, what Peruda needed was actually flame type magic. However, he was not able to use flame magic.
It was because he was born with the innate type that was the exact opposite of the flame. With plant magic as the innate type, using flame magic was impossible for Peruda.
“… I have never been to Lower Solia. To think that it would become such a huddle….”
Leaving the restrained corpse behind, Peruda started to walk again. He then heard someone’s voice.
“Magic Tower’s Head, Peruda.”
From somewhere inside the sewer, there was an echo of some man’s voice.
“Let’s do a trade.”
Peruda was surprised. He started to walk toward the direction where the voice came from.
Peruda came to the place where he thought the voice was coming from. However, it was just an empty place. He looked around the area.
“In the Lower Solia, eye sight and hearing are not very useful. The only important one is the sense of smell.”
Having heard the voice, Peruda put on a violent look on his face. With a weary look, Peruda asked,
“Who… are you?”
After a brief moment of silence, a response could be heard from the man,
“I am the man responsible for making you go in circles in the Lower Solia right now.”
Instead of an echo, this time, Peruda could hear the voice was coming from right behind him. Peruda opened his eyes big and rapidly turned his head. Peruda glared at the man who was approaching him.
After seeing the man who appeared behind him and hearing what he said about being responsible for making Peruda going in circles, Peruda was about to use his magic and restrain the man. However…
“If you are intending to do something to me, it would be best for you if you gave up?”
The man continued to talk, so Peruda stopped his finger movements.
“There are many watchful eyes in Lower Solia.”
Having heard what the man said, Peruda moved his eyes and felt dozens of presence that he did not notice at all until now. Peruda ground his teeth.
He was being threatened.
“I am sorry, but all of them are currently my eyes, noses, and mouths, so… If you act carelessly toward me, you may never leave this place.”
“Well, if you obliterated the entire Lower Solia, then that would be a different story.”
The man closed his eyes and mumbled leisurely. He then narrowly opened his eyes all of sudden and glared at Peruda.
“If you want to leave this place, it would be in your best interest to listen to me. Peruda, the Head of the Magic Tower.”
It was a bold threat. Peruda ground his teeth. He was going to talk back and say ‘don’t make me laugh.’ However, the man suddenly covered Peruda’s mouth. Peruda furrowed his brows.
“I know you had been trapped here for quite some time now… By any chance, don’t you want to know what is happening outside?”
“Make a guess. Should I give you a hint?”
The man who covered Peruda’s mouth and was smiling continued.
“The Magic Tower collapsed.”
The man’s eyes were burning with desire for revenge.
* * *
The one that appeared in front of the corpses at the Right Solia was a girl.
She had black hair and ivory-white skin that contrasted with her hair color.
She had scarlet outwear on her shoulder like it was a cape. She had a black flame floating on her left hand. She threw the black flame to the front and moved her right hand.
The black flame made a direct hit to one of the corpses that was surrounding Ian and Priesia. Along with a beastly roar, the corpse burned to crisp and became ashes.
It was not certain if the corpses actually had a sense of comradery. However, when one of them was burned, as if they were responding to it, others turned to look at the direction where the flame came from. In other words, they looked at the direction where the girl was standing.
They saw the girl staring at them with a cold gaze. The corpses identified her as an enemy and started to charge toward her.
The girl moved her right hand earlier. She drew the sword that was hanging on her waist.
“There are a little less than one hundred?”
After drawing the sword, the girl estimated the number of corpses that were charging toward her. Her stance looked very leisurely with moments to spare.
Maintaining her leisurely stance, she was watching the corpses running toward her. When there was about three steps between the corpses and herself, she started to swing the sword she held on her hand.
The girl swung her sword, and…
Flame followed along the path of the blade.
It felt like she was waving a fabric made of flame.
Everytime the blade was swung, along its path, flame appeared and burned the corpses that were charging toward her.
The corpses were cut by the blade, and they were immediately set on fire, preventing them from moving again.
“What in the world…”
With her left hand placed on her back, she just had her right hand to the front and chopped down the corpses one by one as they came at her. Watching this, Ian and Priesia vacantly opened their mouths.
“N… Nainiae! The corpses are using magic…”
Priesia called out the name of the girl who was swinging the sword. A gust of wind passed by Priesia’s cheek. Surprised, Priesia stopped shouting.
Priesia was creeped out by the wind. She slowly turned her head.
All of the corpses from the Magic Tower, which were casting spells, had their heads chopped off, and purple rings appeared on where their heads were.
The girl in the scarlet outwear was leisurely cutting down the corpses as she twisted her body. Nainiae suddenly dragged her feet and moved her arm with the sword back in a large motion.
She then swung the arm forward with force. The sword left her hand and made a sharp sound as if an arrow was shot.
Ian was vacantly watching Nainiae swinging her sword. Ian heard the sharp wind noise and flinched. He turned his head.
“Guuu…. Kuk… Kuk!”
There was a corpse that was quietly approaching Ian from behind to bite him. On the corpse’s mouth, Nainiae’s sword was stuck on it.
“… Mr. Ian.”
From front of Ian, Nainiae’s gentle voice could be heard. Ian vacantly opened his mouth.
‘I’m wearing a mask to hide my identity. How did she figure it out?’
“The sword, I have used it well all this time.”
While Ian still had his mouth vacantly open, Nainiae expressed her gratitude with voice full of thankfulness. Nainiae lowered her head.
The sword that was currently stuck on the corpse’s mouth, the sword that Nainiae threw, was… Ian’s most treasured sword that Ian allowed Nainiae to borrow when she left the mansion to be cured of her illness.
The girl expressed her gratitude with pride. In response, Ian also vacantly mumbled Nainiae’s name just like Priesia earlier.
“… Well then.”
Nainiae lifted her head and looked at the remaining corpses around them. She took a deep breath.
It seemed the corpses decided that they needed to neutralize Nainiae first. The corpses ignored Ian and Priesia. The corpses all ran toward Nainiae.
“Rest in peace.”
Nainiae mumbled. Although she didn’t recite any spell in particular, dozens of magic circles appeared around her.
Each and every one of the magic circles were gigantic. Their humungous sizes were enough to make Ian and Priesia gasp for air from the shock.
Ian was shocked, but Priesia was shocked even more.
The girl’s lifespan was going to last until autumn at most even if it lasted long.
However, now that girl was using magic like that. Somehow, it looked very dangerous for the girl.
“N… Nainiae… You don’t need to do that!”
“It’s all right.”
Out of concern, Priesia was trying to stop Nainiae from overexerting herself. Nainiae looked at Priesia and put on a refreshing smile on her face. The scarlet coat on her shoulder was waving in the air. Nainiae swung her left arm.
“I need to show off this much at least so that my Teacher’s pride is not tainted.”
‘Did she just say Teacher?’
Ian and Priesia had no idea what she was talking about, so they floated question marks on their faces. Dark colored curved layer appeared around Ian and Priesia.
The corpses were not frightened by the dozens of magic circles that appeared around them. The corpses still charged toward Nainiae. Above the corpses’ heads, bombardment of black colored magic started.
From above the protective barrier, magic attacks completely filled their view. Ian and Priesia vacantly opened their mouths.
About a minute… No… It didn’t feel like it took longer than even 30 seconds.
When the view outside of the barrier could be confirmed again, the sight around them was the kind where they could not see any trace of the corpses.
“I adjusted it appropriately. Are you all right?”
Literally, at an instant, Nainiae eliminated the corpses. She canceled the barrier that she raised to protect Ian and Priesia and then asked the two.
“N… Nainiae… What happened?”
“Is it… really you?”
Nainiae confirmed that they were safe. She nodded and said,
“Excuse me, Mr. Ian.”
She lightly dusted off her hands and approached Ian. Watching this, Ian just stood there with a blank look on his face. He was not able to respond.
There was an apple floating on Nainiae’s right side. After that, Nainiae grabbed the apple with both of her hands. She covered her mouth with the apple and ask in a shy voice,
“Where is Young Master?”