A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 138: Tracing the Attack (2)
Episode 138. Tracing the Attack (2)
It only took two days for the airship to reach Altea, the capital city of the Magical Kingdom from Grinpell.
When Altea finally appeared through the window, Kei gathered everyone from Desir’s party.
“We will arrive in the capital shortly. Let us terminate your contract at this point. Thank you for your hard work.”
Kei signed their contracts, designating them as a completed mission.
The mercenary contract would be fully terminated once they submitted their signed contract to the mercenary guild in the Magical Kingdom. They would also receive the balance of the bounty.
The first main questline would be cleared with this.
After saying bye to Kei, Pram spoke up, as they headed back to their rooms.
“This quest was quite simple for a Level Three Shadow World.’
“It’s not over, so you can’t quite relax yet, Pram.”
Pram nodded at Desir’s sage advice.
If things went smoothly, the Shadow World would have been cleared. However, they were forced to enter the hidden second main questline.
Desir’s face was filled with anxiety since even he didn’t know anything about these series of events. It wasn’t even recorded in the history books they had studied up on.
Desir glanced at the room where Kei and he had held a conversation.
‘Under normal circumstances, the first quest and the second quest tend to be related in a major way. I wanted to collect as much information as possible… ’
Sword Grand Master, Kei Hazmaryoon was not one who was easily befriended.
Though his likability with Kei had sufficiently increased, he still didn’t say anything beyond what was necessary.
He was never loose-lipped, even when he was chuckling affably. If anyone attempted to delve into a sensitive topic just a little bit, he’d block them by changing the topic.
As a result, Desir had to give up on getting information out of him.
Leaving his disappointment behind, he loitered around for a while. The airship landed on the field soon enough.
Altea had a lifeless atmosphere compared to lively Grinpell.
The skyline was blocked by skyscrapers. People wore dark-colored clothes and were very quiet.
As Desir’s party descended onto the landing field, someone walked towards their airship. It was a middle-aged man with a big scar on his cheek.
Desir secretly ascertained their mana circle. He was roughly a Fifth-Circle. Even for the Magic Kingdom, which had an incomparably stronger magical force than other kingdoms, to be a Fifth-Circle mage was no simple feat. This man was powerful.
Soldiers saluted him in unison as they saw him.
But he frowned as if seeing something utterly unpleasant.
He saluted Kei who was standing on the deck half-heartedly.
“Good job, Major Kei Hazmaryoon.”
“Commander Darren Aleph, we successfully obtained ingredients, so you don’t have to visit us like this.”
“Well done for completing this mission with such a body that is utterly devoid of magic.”
“… It was definitely not easy. It would be the same for magicians.”
“Do not make a mistake of equating swords and magic, Grand Master. While we magicians split the ocean and blow away mountains, you’d slice with your sword through a few mere obstacles at most. Even though you’re referred to as the Grand Master, you’re no exception.”
He jabbed his finger at Kei’s chest. His attitude was certainly very rude.
However, Kei laughed and brushed his hand away.
“So, what did you visit us for? I don’t think you came all this way here just to tell me that.”
“I’m here to check if all the ingredients arrived safely. It’d be very troublesome to have any issues before we commence the experiment. Anywho, who are those people?”
He gestured at Desir standing on the side.
“They’re the mercenaries that I hired to guard the airship.”
Guards for the airship.
Desir did not miss it, even though it was only made as a passing comment.
‘We were hired to guard Aldin though.’
Desir realized Kei was hiding the existence of Aldin Sepius. He didn’t know why, but it was certain that Aldin couldn’t be exposed here.
“That’s unusual. I didn’t think you’d hire mercenaries.”
“It’s because we lost too many subordinates to carry out the order of his majesty.”
“In some ways, it’s a natural consequence. Why do you operate soldiers with weapons in this day and age? You are the only unit that uses weapons now.”
He looked around the soldiers, then spoke with a wide smile.
“Well, it’s very easy to get soldiers with weapons. Your management is worth considering, in the sense that what you work with is always available in great supply.”
“Commander, I would appreciate it if you would avoid speaking as if my subordinates are expendable.”
“Why? Are you offended?”
There was a long pause.
Kei stared at Darren quietly.
“Well, anyway, I want to see the ingredients.”
“… This way.”
Kei spoke, but he looked incredibly subdued. He glanced at Desir’s party and gestured at one of the officers.
“Officer Penen, please take the soldiers to the guild carefully. They wouldn’t know their way around here.”
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Officer Penen was quite an interesting man. He had introduced Desir’s party to Kei right at the beginning. He grabbed a carriage and joined Desir’s party.
Desir looked back at the airship.
“That man… However high his rank may be, he’s way too rude.”
Penen shook his head from side to side.
“Well, that’s what it is like. Magic skill is the standard for everything in the Magical Kingdom.”
Just as he had said, everything was decided by magic skill in the Magical Kingdom. The most excellent magician became the king.
“As you’ve seen in person, nobody can reach Major Kei’s sword skill, but people in the Magical Kingdom are overly proud of their superb magic skill. They detest and are ashamed of soldiers that wield weapons. I consider it a miracle that Major Kei got promoted to the rank of major at all.”
His title of Sword Grand Master suited him perfectly, seeing his piercing energy he employed while cutting down that Transcendent Wyvern.
But his rank was only a major. The most powerful swordsman of his times. It was unthinkable for a man with his skills to be treated like this.
“You must respect Kei very much.”
“Of course. Not just me, everyone in the unit must feel the same as I do. Major took care of and trained people like myself who have no talent in magic. He made our lives livable. I would do anything for him.”
Penen’s voice was very dignified, evidently filled with pride.
“There was hardly anyone who could keep up such a rude attitude in front of him until now, due to his majesty’s favor. But since his majesty began to favor some magician from a foreign country, things like that have become increasingly common.”
Penen finished with a sigh.
They arrived at the mercenary guild while chatting away.
Penen bowed his head slightly when all of Desir’s party got off the carriage.
“Thank you for your hard work.”
The officer closed the door and went away.
Desir felt he had gained some small details that might come in handy later.
‘I’ve got great information.’
Desir’s party handed the receptionist their mercenary contracts from the Sword Grand Master in the mercenary guild.
As expected, they got a system message.
[-‘The last hurrah’ Quest has been completed.]
[The main quest in progress remains.]
[Please complete the remaining quest to receive a full clear.]
[Rewards will be added up after clearing the remaining quest.]
Desir stretched his arms.
“So we have one last quest.”
The remaining quest was the elimination of the power backing Pureus.
Their clue was a fragment of a mana cluster they had obtained after killing the Alchemist.
Desir pulled out the mana cluster. There was a serial number on its backside.
The last letter of the serial number was illegible.
Desir pondered aloud.
“Mana clusters were only manufactured in the Magical Kingdom. They were managed very securely to prevent the technique from leaking.”
In order to make magical artifacts, a catalyst was required to gather the mana.
In the modern days, mana stones were created by an enchanting method designed by Zod, whereas the only way to mass-produce a similar tool in these times was making something like the mana cluster they held a piece of.
It was obvious how valuable mana clusters would have been.
People were only allowed to purchase them after a strict background investigation.
Romantica spoke up.
“As mana clusters are thoroughly managed, there must be records of people who bought them. We need to check those and find out who purchased the mana cluster matching this serial number.”
“But there’s no way they’ll show such records to outsiders like us, is there?”
Pram’s comment was absolutely correct. There was no way an outsider like them could look at such sensitive internal records.
“Yes, I suppose so. But, just because they aren’t willing to show us, doesn’t mean that we cannot see them.”
Des1r turned to Pram.
“You don’t always have to use gentlemanly means.”
Chapter brought to you by Kevin H.
QC: Dr Lock