Chapter 87 - A Wrong Encounter (4)
He didn’t care if the headquarters of the mages was attacked. An attack on Aedia was Aedia’s problem. He had no inclination of fighting another country by joining Aedia’s side. Of course, when he decisively turned down her offer, a weak expression of dismay appeared on Regina’s face.
Regina had a troubled expression on her face as she hesitated. In the end, her shoulders slumped a little bit as she mumbled to herself.
“Failed negotiation. Opponent shows no hostility. Ignore and carry out mission.”
“What is your mission?”
After telling him that it was a secret, she turned around. She gazed past the city towards the force of several hundred rushing towards them. This was obvious, but she was a golem made by the magicians of Aedia. She had to follow orders given by her country. This was why it was her mission to face an army that was invading her nation.
“You know what? I kind of want to have a conversation with them.”
Artpe spoke carefully. However, at his words, Regina’s pupils shook in a severe manner. She shook her head from side to side as she opened her mouth to speak. There was a slight tremor in her voice.
“Is that so? Do you have to kill them for your secret mission?”
Artpe unintentionally succeeded in stirring up her emotions. Up until now, he was sure Regina had never shown her tearful face to anyone! It was starting to get pretty fun dealing with her. However, he couldn’t let this drag on any further.
Artpe looked at Maetel, who had a conflicted expression on her face. He solemnly nodded his head as he flicked his finger. It was a combo moves between the two heroes. Everything happened in lightning speed.
When he flicked his finger, Maetel moved. Regina didn’t even have time to chant her defensive magic. All her defensive measures were pierced by Maetel. Regina fainted from the assault! The combination of moves was more suited for a villain than a hero. However, this suited his goal for now.
“All right. Carry her.”
“All right. Let’s go!”
Artpe and his party headed towards the road, and they quickly exited the port city of Belata. They had briskly wrapped up their work, yet swear words kept pouring out of his mouth..
“Shit. Why the hell did a war break out right now?”
The Daiatan kingdom was located north of Aedia. On the other hand, the Duchy of Tiata was located south of Aedia. It seemed Aedia was fighting a war against the allied forces of Daiatan and Tiata.
This was obvious, but in Artpe’s previous life, Aedia had never fought a war against Diatan and Tiata. In fact, it had been a war between the Duchy of Tiata and the Daiatan kingdom. In his previous life, Aedia had come in support of Tiata. This was understandable, since Duke Eritahd of Tiata was the brother of the current king of Aedia.
“Why would the Duchy of Tiata betray Aedia? Why did they join up with Daiatan? This shouldn’t have happened.”
“Did Daiatan make an offer that the Duchy of Tiata couldn’t refuse?”
Maetel carefully told him her conjecture. Artpe smirked as he nodded his head.
“Yes, that’s possible. At the very least, Daiatan is probably thinking that very thing right now.”
“You don’t think that’s the case?”
The Duchy of Tiata was a city state that broke off early from Aedia. Since there were blood ties between Tiata and Aediaa, there had always been a close relationship between the two. That is why it would be a big blow to Aedia if Diatan was successful in luring Tiata away.
However, Artpe was having a hard time believing Tiata had betrayed Aedia. In his past life, Aedia and Tiata worked hand in hand with each other. In fact, one of their joint ventures had caused the hero of his past life to become disappointed in humanity…...
“Wait a moment······?”
Artpe’s stopped walking. The other party members stopped walking. Maetel was carrying the unconscious Regina. Her limbs were limp.
“A joint venture······ Could it be?”
When Maetel called out his name, Artpe quickly turned his head to look at her.
“Do you remember my promise to Mycenae?”
“Yes. You promised to take on a quest related to the Forest of Eternity.”
“That’s right. In truth, the Forest of Eternity shares borders with the Duchy of Tiatia.”
The aloof tribes of Elves lived within the Forest of Eternity. Tiata and the surrounding nations were always covetous of the forest and the Elves. This was why there was always a war underway in an attempt to possess them.
In the end, Aedia helped Tiata bring calamity to the Forest of Eternity, and it had created a big wound in the hero’s heart.
‘If this war is related to that…….. This is pure speculation.’
The incident from his past life occurred when the hero was over twenty years old. However, Mycenae had spoken about this very subject during the making of their personal contract. It was safe to assume that Aedia and Tiata had long been at this venture.
So why would they suddenly sever their relationship with each other?
Aedia had always supported the work of the Duchy of Tiata, so it was hard to fathom Tiata revolting against Aedia….. If one took into account their close relationship, the alliance with Diatan was a farce. Therefore, the thing they were aiming for was…..
“Maybe the war that is occurring right now is…...”
“Artpe, you can explain it to me a little bit later. They are almost here.”
Maetel’s voice stopped his train of thoughts. When he raised his head, he caught sight of them too.
A group of men and horses were heading straight for the port city of Belata. There were several hundred of them. There was a nefarious energy emanating from each one of them. It looked as if they were willing to destroy anything in their path.
Artpe shook his head from side to side. It was a signal that let Maetel know that she shouldn’t act yet. Artpe cleared his throat, and he yelled out in a friendly and inviting voice. He made sure his intentions couldn’t be misunderstood by his opponents.
“Hey, guys. Why don’t you guys stop for a brief moment?/ I have some questions I would like to ask you!”
However, the answer that came back was unbelievably cold.
“They are enemies! I can feel magical energy around all for of them!”
“Let’s just mow them down! We were told to kill all of them! Leave no witnesses alive!”
“These bitches are extraordinary beauties, captain. If it is fine with you, we can capture them alive…….”
“We are working towards a great cause, so don’t reveal such filthy and crude personal desires! Kill them all!”
Artpe had called out to them first, yet he was instantly labeled as an enemy! They planned on killing Artpe’s party. Fortunately, they didn’t act like the knights from the old stories. They didn’t say, ‘Ku-he-he. I want you to capture the pretty women alive!’
“People these days are really heartless.”
“Artpe, aren’t they enemies? ······I’ll kill them?”
“We will, but······ Wait a moment.”
Artpe sighed as he waved his hand. His Hyper Rubbing spell had almost reached maturity. The spell created a smooth surface. The horses couldn’t stop their own momentum, so they slid across the floor.
The low level soldiers fell, and they couldn’t get up again. The nimble soldiers amongst them were barely able to avoid the crash. They were able to stand on solid ground once again.
“Magic! He’s an enemy magician!”
“Damn it. Throw it!”
Each of them brought out a dagger. When one was hit by the dagger, it would disrupt the magician’s flow of Mana. Moreover, an extreme pain was created to disrupt the casting of a spell. These were weapons typically used against Archmages. It seemed they came prepared with Artifacts that would allow them to subdue magicians. It seemed Daiatan was taking this war pretty seriously…...
At Artpe’s hand gesture, several dozen Mana Strings plucked the daggers out the air, and he sent them back from where they came from.
In such a brief amount of time, Artpe’s Mana was injected into the daggers. They exploded when they reached their owners. Anyone that could sense Mana was shocked by his surprising technique.
“We can’t fight him. I have no idea what method he is using!”
Artpe clicked his tongue. He didn’t like to indiscriminately kill all the humans. However, the thing he despised more was seeing soldiers run away immediately when the upperhand was taken from them.
“I have something I want to ask you.”
In that moment, Artpe stood in the middle of the battlefield that had gone to hell. He became better at using the Blink Boots the more he used it. Whether it was a spell, skill or an Artifact’s option, he could use it as if it was an extension of his body. He was proud of this fact.
“H...h...how the hell…...”
Several knights tried to rush him with their weapons. However, in the next moment, Mana Strings extended out from Artpe’s entire body. He bound the soldiers tight. They could do nothing.
“Hurry up and run······ Koohk!?”
It was the same for those that tried to run away. The Mana Strings were infused with critical amount of magical energy and killing intent. They covered the battlefield in no time. The several hundred knights were unable to move.
When he first learned the Mana String, it had been burdensome to create just five strings. After he reached level 280, he possessed more Mana than what he possessed in his previous life. Artpe had sufficient Mana to create 500 strings.
“So…. Who’s the leader?”
After he subdued everyone, Artpe opened his mouth. However, no one answered him. Artpe had no choice, but to change the question.
“Where are you from?”
Finally, one knight cautiously raised his head as he yelled out.
“W...we are the knights of the exalted Diatan kingdom!”
“However, Aedia’s army isn’t here. Don’t you guys know about the international law of engagement?”
Soldiers had to fight soldiers. It was clear that this city had only civilians. If they attacked this place, it was the worst taboo amongst the agreed upon international laws. It was enough to make Diatan become the pariah of the continent.
Since they knew they what kind of sin they were committing, sillence quickly descended amongst the knights. Artpe snorted.
“When did knights become a band of ruffians?”
“Our foremost goal is to win this war! We are willing to become ruffians for our cause!”
“However, if you lose after committing such acts, you would look like useless trash. Isn’t that right?”
Artpe sounded bored as he spoke. He flicked his hand. In a flash, the Mana Strings subduing the knights were gone. The knights were taken aback. They immediately stood up.
“D...don’t attack him. He can use his magic again at a moment’s notice!”
“Vigilance! Be on your guard!”
Fortunately, they weren’t too stupid. They no longer tried to run away. Moreover, they didn’t try to attack Artpe again. Artpe was satisfied when the knights warily stood in place. When Artpe chilled as he stood in place, one of the knights slowly approached him. He looked to be the leader.
“Are you perhaps….. Are you not affiliated with Aedia?”
“Did you ever hear about such a strong magician like me residing in Aedia?”
“You magical energy and appearance······ I have never heard of you. You were able to subdue our knights with a slight wave of your hand. If we knew Aedia had a monster like you, we would have never went against Aedia even with the help of our collaborators.”
It was too bad for them, but Aedia already had Regina. She was weaker than Artpe, but she would be able to easily overpower these knights.
In other words, Daitan was fighting an unwinnable war. Regina’s secret mission was probably to take out these knights.
“I already know you aren’t Aedia’s magician. So why······?”
Why was he in a country that was in the midst of a war? Why did he subdue them? Why was he sparing them? They had a lot of questions.
Artpe’s reply was simple.
“I want to meet your superiors. I’ll tell you my reasons.”
Artpe’s eyes twinkled in an evil manner.
“Hire me. I want to join in the war against Aedia as a wartime mercenary. It’ll be very expensive to hire me.”