Chapter 16 – Shock and Determination
「Father! Are you all right!?」 (Regis)
I entered by kicking open the door, ran straight up the stairs and to Shadiverga’s room without stopping, to find the head of Din household relaxing there as if nothing had happened.
His gaze fell upon me as I broke into a cold sweat, my shoulders rose and fell as I breathed heavily.
「What’s wrong, Regis? There was nothing wrong with me, you know? 」 (Shadiverga)
「…..Eh? 」 (Regis)
I looked at Shadiverga’s appearance fixedly.
Certainly, it didn’t seem like he was attacked anywhere.
Could it be that, the message written on the paper was a lie?
Did he induce Edgar to steal it deliberately just to cause confusion?
No, it wasn’t possible for him to carry out such skilful acting.
The fact that the paper was stolen was supposed to be a miscalculation on the other side.
Just as I was thinking so, Shadiverga grumbled.
「Hmmm…..Why won’t Walkins come back soon? 」 (Shadiverga)
On hearing those words, I finally realized.
That reminds me, Walkins didn’t seem to be anywhere in sight.
「Father, where did Walkins go? 」 (Regis)
「Aa, we ran into something quite troublesome……. 」 (Shadiverga)
Shadiverga explained the circumstances in a laid-back manner.
There was supposed to be an envoy from the royal family coming over to extend his greetings early this morning.
However, he was suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant when he was passing through the southern noble district.
A wound that appeared to be cruelly carved using knife could be found on him, leaving him on the verge of death.
The King’s direct retainer was assaulted in his own stronghold.
This could be the biggest news received today.
I see. So that was the reason why the city seems to be enveloped in a strange atmosphere.
No one has heard of the incident in which Edgar’s shop was burned to a crisp in detail since a more urgent situation has occurred.
I guess that’s a given.
For the sake of preserving the royal family’s honour, they would definitely capture the criminal by all means.
According to Shadiverga, a cabinet minister residing in the Imperial City has apparently made one demand.
『The criminal shouldn’t have escaped outside yet. Therefore all the nobles in the southern noble district are to send out their private armies and arrest that criminal.』
Judging from the explanation up till this point, I have somehow grasped the reason why Walkins was not around.
It was highly likely that Walkins would’ve stayed back in order to protect Shadiverga, regardless of where the instruction came from.
Nevertheless, she was forced to make a move once the whole household was dragged into this.
I tried my best not to reveal the confusion through my face as I asked him.
「…….Did you send Walkins off?」 (Regis)
「That’s right. Our private armies are defending our territory so they are not able to make it to the Imperial City. Walkins alone should be sufficient as Din household’s combat potential—–」 (Shadiverga)
The bad premonition I had gradually drew closer.
I probably have a terribly impatient look on my face now.
Shadiverga murmured as if he felt bad about it.
「If I don’t send someone out, I might end up incurring the wrath of all the nobles in the Imperial City……. It didn’t feel right being the only one staying at a safe place while everyone else is joining forces together. I don’t care about myself but I don’t want to taint Sefina’s family name…… Tte, are you listening to me Regis—-」 (Shadiverga)
「This is bad!!! 」 (Regis)
No I wasn’t referring to Walkins.
Even if that person were attacked, she would be able to turn the tables on them again.
But presently. Yes right now.
In truth, there wasn’t even a single bodyguard now in this mansion.
The preparation finished.
If all these were just to interfere with the king’s envoy and also as a strategy to get Walkins out of the mansion, then it would be impossible for Durf to not take any action following this.
They have been way too quiet all this while.
By making us careless in thinking that the situation was still peaceful, he would deliver an instant kill in the midst of it.
If I were a filthy noble like him, I would definitely do so.
On the assumption that he had made a move —-there will not be a single bodyguard left now!
「Father, get away from there! 」 (Regis)
At that moment, a loud crashing sound could be heard from the window.
An intruder came in like a wind, running towards Shadiverga instantly.
My reaction was too late.
I was chanting in a hurry but I wouldn’t make it.
He’s way too fast.
The beast moved swiftly to bring down its targeted prey at a speed an amateur like me wouldn’t be able to catch up with.
The man muttered coldly as he sprung at Shadiverga.
「…….I am, one of Stalin. Shadiverga Din-dono. Your life, is mine……. 」 (Assassin)
His entire ensemble was black.
The appearance was the same as the guy I met underground.
But the weapon they were equipped with was different.
A large knife with counter blade attached.
It was clearly a shape designed to kill a person.
Wielding it with both hands, the assassin thrust it into Shadiverga’s arm.
「…..Guuaaaaa!!! 」 (Shadiverga)
Shadiverga’s face was distorted with pain.
I pulled out Din household’s knife and came in between the both of them, causing the assassin to spring back instantly.
We’ll lose once he fixed his posture.
I chanted my magic loudly as I pointed at that man.
「Demon’s blood overflowing my body, turn the flame into a blazing Hellfire—『Astral Fire』!! 」 (Regis)
As soon as I finished the chant, the man’s body burst into magnificent flame.
However, the intensity of my headache has reached its peak.
The severe wave of nausea caused me to throw up on the carpet.
Did I use up too much magic?
On seeing at my sudden change, the man poured the water he had on him over his body.
Although, the fury of the fire did not abate at all.
「……Tch. A flame that will never goes out, is it? A shrewd mimicry. 」 (Assassin)
Turning his knife around, he aimed it at me.
Aa, he would be released from the magic once I’m killed, wouldn’t he?
You were planning to put an end to my life before running away, weren’t you?
Since I understood his goal, there should be more things to be done.
I should be fighting him but—
I ended up kneeling on my knees. I have regrettably ran out of strength.
My vision became hazy and my head felt fuzzy.
I have experienced these feelings before.
I wonder when was it.
That was certainly……when I was dead.
At that time, I had given up on everything.
After all, I wouldn’t be able to come back to life again.
I have lived my life like a garbage so it’ll just end the same way.
That was what I thought.
But, I’m still alive here.
I can still fight.
Just recall it!
What did I swear to myself at that moment?
The things that I couldn’t accomplish in my previous life.
In order to achieve it, I wanted to start all over again.
—I would like to be a person who is capable of saving someone.
I remembered it.
I stood up.
I will not allow any more attacks on Shadiverga.
I will definitely not let him do it.
I stood upright, still feeling unsteady as I glared at the assassin.
The pain in my head was so extreme that it felt like exploding.
The contents in my stomach were refluxed back, clogging up the passageway.
Nonetheless, this is not the time for me to be grovelling at a place like this.
「….I will protect. 」 (Regis)
I pulled out a knife.
If I were to use that magic, it might be possible to reverse the situation here.
However, it was too late.
If only I have studied that a little faster. I’m deeply regretting it now.
But I will try protecting Shadiverga with all the power that I have currently.
「Come at me, assassin. I will definitely not succumb to you. 」 (Regis)
「…..you, with that state of consciousness—-」 (Assassin)
「Aa, my head hurts so much it literally felt like splitting into two. I am experiencing strange cough attacks, my head feels fuzzy and my vision is also blurry. My heart is screaming out loud as if it was getting crushed and both of my feet are trembling so much, they couldn’t support my body any longer. 」 (Regis)
There would not be a bad condition worse than this in existence.
It was indeed a miracle for me to be able to keep my consciousness.
At my words, the assassin narrowed his eyes.
「—-Even so, that’s not the reason for me to give up here.」 (Regis)
「I will not lose to an assassin! 」 (Regis)
Blood splurted out of my mouth as I shouted aloud.
Apparently my entire body structure became brittle due to the overuse of magic.
But I will bet all that I have just to stop this guy here.
Eat this. This is the top thunder magic taught by Walkins.
「Flash of thunderbolt, pierce through the earth. Pass your heavenly judgement and surge out the evil spirit—『Bolt Judgement』!!! 」 (Regis)
*vein pop* I felt a creak somewhere in my brain.
The feeling was similar to an electric drill being thrust into my skull.
The hateful sound of the drill started haunting me in the form of flashback.
A mixture of blood and vomit gushed out of my mouth, soiling the ground.
But the magic was still triggered somehow.
It is currently listed under 『New Expert Edition』, an intense thunder magic.
The thunder that was produced at the speed of light is inevitable.
An abnormal amount of voltage was discharged, instantly destroying the opponent’s spirit.
「…..Gu–, you!! 」 (Assassin)
The assassin who tried to stop me before the invocation immediately entered a defensive stance.
He flinched as the lightning hit him, burning his body.
An outrageous sound of explosion resounded, threatening the assassin’s life.
「…Damn, withdrawing」 (Assassin)
In addition to the eternal flame burning his body, he was hit by an unavoidable thunder attack.
Having fallen into a predicament that rendered him incapable of fighting anymore, the man escaped the place by tumbling outside.
Before leaving through the window, he spat out a parting line.
「……..But, the objective was achieved. Another thing—this is likely to be useful, in future. I’m taking, this knife. 」 (Assassin)
Upon closer observation, the assassin seems to be holding onto something.
It was the knife that Shadiverga has always been treasuring.
That knife that was handed down by Sefina’s house. The house of Jirgen’s heirloom.
「Ho-Hold it! 」 (Regis)
「Antidote will not work. Submerge yourself in the sea of deadly poison, Shadiverga Din.」 (Assassin)
He threw a knife at me at the end.
Naturally it was the same knife that has pierced Shadiverga.
The assassin disappeared from sight at the same time.
I managed to drive him away in one way or another.
Unfortunately, I might have won the bout but, I have lost the game.
I didn’t have any energy left to dodge the knife.
The knife flew closer and closer before my eyes.
Although I have somehow prevented them from pursuing Shadiverga, this single hit was unstoppable.
Out of fear, I started closing my eyes.
However, a hand stretched out before me at that very moment.
The knife ended up piercing a slender looking hand.
Bright red blood splattered all over my face.
The momentum of the knife was stopped but the blood continued dripping down.
When I looked up, Walkins was standing there smiling gently at me.
「I’m home. I’m sorry, I should’ve return a little earlier. 」 (Walkins)
She pulled out the knife from her hand and threw it away on the spot.
It was scary, in a sense, to see her expression remained the same.
「This is…….it seems that a lethal poison was smeared over the knife. 」 (Walkins)
Walkins licked her own wound once and frowned.
She heaved a sigh when she looked at Shadiverga’s collapsed body.
「He should make it if the treatment is done. Shadiverga-sama’s spirit has certainly.」 (Walkins)
Walkins lifted up Shadiverga’s arm that wasn’t injured and placed her finger on it.
The arm has turned purple, possibly because it was afflicted by a powerful poison and blood vessels seem to be pulsating strangely.
That sight was most painful to the eyes now.
「Father is saved, right?」 (Regis)
「He’s fine. It seems that, they had used something that antidotes will not be effective on but—- all these are pointless before me.」 (Walkins)
Shadiverga’s face took on an expression of agony.
Walkins placed her hand at his jaw and chanted with a serious tone.
At that moment, the atmosphere of the room changed completely, making the surrounding felt more ominous.
「The twist of ancient times that reigns over, heaven and earth unveil his death by the venomous snake of the fallen soldiers’ spirit. Your wicked poison will now be killed by the lesser poison—-『Poison Slayer』.」 (Walkins)
Walkins has once again used a magic that wasn’t listed in any books.
It was the same as 『Chaos Cataract』 the other time.
The 『Giga Teleportation』 used previously was written in one of the book that I found in the archive.
But it was a magic that no normal people would be able to use. That was a super advanced magic in which only the existence was known.
However, the magic that she used just now was probably one that nobody knew.
It became more and more mysterious every time I see Walkins’ magic.
Nevertheless, the effect appears immediate. The swelling on Shadiverga’s arm disappeared instantly, a scene that would make one wonder if what happened earlier was all a lie.
「If this condition is ignored, the poison will be circulated through the whole body, resulting in death within a day. Although he managed to survive due to the fast treatment, he will not be able to move for the time being.」 (Walkins)
「Eh? Wasn’t Walkins poisoned earlier too? If you don’t hurry up and erase it」 (Regis)
「I will not die from poison. Just natural healing will be sufficient. 」 (Walkins)
「……That’s no way it’s true, isn’t it?」 (Regis)
「I knew of several poison magic too so I developed resistance to it.」 (Walkins)
When a certain magic attribute improved, you will gain not only that attribute’s offensive power but also boost defence against that attribute at the same time.
I knew about that.
Those who have mastered fire magic will have considerable resistance against magic with fire attribute.
But how did this person acquire something like poison magic?
If you were to go through all the books in the market, there is an attribute known only by its name.
That is poison magic.
I didn’t get any sense of discomfort when I found out that the assassin has learnt this magic.
But you’re different. Walkins.
That person might be a resident of the back world but, you’re just a little eccentric servant aren’t you?
No one knew her age.
She mastered many different kinds of strange magic.
Excellent sword skill.
Outrageous physical ability.
The mysteries kept piling up the more I knew about her.
There should be a limit to how mysterious one could be.
Moreover, it was likely that there was an unthinkable secret being kept away.
I wonder if Walkins would talk about it one day.
No, it might not be possible unless I try compromising it from my side.
Wait, now’s not the time for this.
I just overheard a pretty ominous line.
「Father, can you move?」 (Regis)
Despite calling out to him, all he could do was just groan.
His consciousness was possibly still dim.
Walkins breathed out gently when she saw that.
「It should be fine once he takes a rest for a while. You should go rest too, Regis-sama. I will be keeping watch so please go to sleep.」 (Walkins)
「….I understand. Then, tomorrow morning. We will work on a counterplan from now on.」 (Regis)
「I comply.」 (Walkins)
I should leave the task of taking care of Shadiverga to her.
I wouldn’t be able to do much even if I were to stay here any longer.
All I would like to do was just to take a rest.
My magic power was completely consumed.
My head’s all blank even if I were to try thinking of something.
I don’t want to think about anything anymore.
For the time being, I understood that I have somehow protected Shadiverga’s life.
If I continued staying on the sidelines, he would certainly be killed.
Although, selfishly speaking, I wanted to be a shield before he was stabbed.
「…..I still have a long way to go.」 (Regis)
My head felt heavy.
I was looking at my reflection in the mirror above the washbasin.
My complexion was deathly pale.
There was a strong smell of blood when I held a mouthful of water.
The smell of iron penetrating my nose made me frustrated.
「….definitely unforgivable. 」 (Regis)
I went back to my room and collapsed on my bed as it is.
The names of those who have tormented Shadiverga came to my mind.
He has made it impossible for the rival lord to participate in the duel.
They are probably rejoicing now after taking the measures this time.
However, that feeling of joy is extremely fragile.
I’ll make you understand it.
Regardless of what they might have in store, I will meddle in and find the best possible way to win in that development.
「I’ll show you hell.」 (Regis)
While working on a scheme to knock those guys down, I closed my eyes.
My consciousness was blown off instantly due to my extreme fatigue.
In the end, I slept like the dead until sunrise the next morning—–