◈ Episode 255: Sheridan Iron Feet (2)
War mage Frank Buckler let out an annoyed sigh as he gulped down a cold beer.
“damn. How long do we have to be stuck in these stuffy underground mines?”
It’s already been over three months since I’ve seen slaves mining rare metals in underground mines.
Supervision and management are all done by the guys below, so there is practically nothing to do.
Even so, trying to spend more than three months in a place without sunlight made me feel like I was going to lose my mind.
‘damn. Still, it was a bit better when I was able to relieve my stress against the slaves.’
Because there was a limit to what they could enjoy, they relieved the frustration by torturing the slaves.
That too was a month ago.
After the decrease in the number of slaves hindered the mining of rare metals, Frank was no longer able to tamper with the slaves.
Of course, if they openly rebel, then ‘justified defense’ will be established.
However, the slaves were not blind, so they deliberately bowed their heads in front of Frank.
It was only because of this that it was difficult to find fault with this side.
After all, Frank has been drinking every night for the past month.
Suddenly, I thought that the old days were good.
Back then, there was nothing to be afraid of as a war mage.
He was talented and had a natural flair, especially when it came to fighting.
Of course, great talent brought arrogance, and Frank’s arrogance eventually led to problems within the military.
He disobeyed his superior’s order and caused a cataclysm.
The charge is murder for disobeying orders.
According to the military law, even if he was summarily executed right away, there was nothing to say, but Frank did not die.
The country that valued his ability got rid of his status and instead used it for this illegal work.
With a promise to let you live as before if you successfully complete this task.
For that alone, Frank endured a long, long time.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad.
There are fewer troublesome orders, more freedom than when I was in the military, and I received quite a bit of support.
‘Besides me, there seem to be two more people of the same type as me.’
Two War Mages who caused trouble in a different way from Frank, whose status was expunged and took on dirty work.
In a way, they could be called Frank’s comrades, but Frank didn’t want to get involved with them very much.
It was because of the thought that he was cleaner and better even if he was stuck in the same shit.
It will be the same over there.
It was the moment when Frank lay down on the bed in the simple barracks to get a good night’s sleep today.
Frank opened his closed eyes.
It is felt.
The sign of a strong guy.
It is not simply felt.
The guy was calling this on purpose.
While giving off waves of magical power.
Frank immediately got up and headed outside the makeshift tent.
A large underground plaza full of artificial light.
Someone was standing in the place where entry was prohibited for personal time.
‘What is that again?’
It was a man with a shadow.
Shadows shimmering like flames flowed down his shoulders like a cape, and he wore a black crow mask on his face.
“Yeah. What are the guys outside doing? It can’t be, these bastards.”
Frank couldn’t hide his joy even though he said that, and a smile was on his lips.
“I don’t know where the hell this guy came from, but you know that this is an off-limits area, right?”
“… … .”
The shadow didn’t answer.
Frank clicked his tongue as if steam was leaking at the sight.
“Well, seeing as he came all the way here exuding so much magic, it doesn’t seem like a good thing to do.”
It didn’t matter.
So it was rather better.
“Don’t die easily. Because I’m really trying to have fun after a long time. It’s a person who can wash away boredom after a long time, but if it ends quickly, isn’t it fun?”
Spells were manifested around Frank, and magic began to be equipped.
Five spears of flame were created around Frank and shot towards the shadows.
At that moment, the shadow moved.
I wanted to perform a simple spell, but the magic was completed at a terrifying speed that was incomparable to this side.
The created ice mass collided with the flame spear and disappeared as if offset.
Seeing this, Frank’s eyes lit up.
“As expected, he was a good guy.”
Otherwise, he wouldn’t have sneaked into such a secret place and started a fight with himself.
It was an action that was possible because he was confident.
Frank looked down on the shadows on the outside, but on the inside he acted with thorough calculation.
Frank didn’t think the first attack would work, so Frank went right into the next spell.
At that moment, the shadowy man moved.
The cloak of shadow fluttered, and the distance between Frank and Frank was reduced in an instant.
It was not a cloak, but it seemed to have spread its wings.
‘infighting? That’s a pretty good judgement.’
Frank laughed to himself.
Frank immediately stepped back and completed the spell again.
For him, as a warring mage, the act of creating a spell while moving was too easy.
magic that regenerates.
This time the magic was stronger than before.
The snake’s head made of flame opened its mouth to swallow the shadow.
At this rate, it would be like an intruder throwing himself into the snake’s mouth.
At that moment, the shadowy intruder activated his magic.
Inside the snake’s mouth, countless ice awls grew like chestnuts and tore off the snake’s head.
“Movement spell? Are you also a war mage?”
Frank asked, but there was no answer.
The snake of fire disappeared and the embers scattered in all directions.
Frank stretched out his arms in the air.
Whoa oh oh!
Countless embers were sucked into his hands and compressed into a circle.
The moment I tried to throw it right away, the shadow approached me.
With a flash of light, the silver blade aimed at Frank’s neck.
At that moment, Frank laughed.
The orb of flame in his right hand stretched and took the form of a sword, blocking the blade wielded by the shadow.
“Did you think we would win in close combat?”
Usually mages are evaluated as being strong at long range and weak at close range.
The same goes for wizards’ fights.
Performing spells, manifesting magic, and blocking it.
At a distance from each other, who completes the spell first, shoots the magic quickly, or analyzes the compatibility.
The fight was basically very static rather than dynamic.
The fact that magicians are weak in melee combat was, in a way, common sense rather than prejudice.
But War Mage was different.
They are the ones who devise ways to unleash magic in real life.
They were lunatics who studied magic related to combat and how to kill enemies efficiently, not magic that improved the world.
Of course, it was not accepted that War Mages were weak in ‘close combat’ that wizards were born with.
Rather, among the War Mages, there were those who preferred close combat.
Frank was just like that.
“Close combat with a sword? Rather, if you stick with me, I’ll be more grateful this way!”
A sword made of highly compressed flame.
Frank sneered at the intruder who came within range this way.
“Looking at you using the maneuvering technique and coming closer, you seem like a war mage with some fighting experience, but even so, to me… … .”
At that moment, the eye inside the crow mask curved like a crescent moon.
Frank, who was fighting sword to sword, felt a chill run down his spine.
‘what? Did I miss something?’
Strangely, I didn’t feel good.
‘Usually, when the back goal is pulled like this, the end wasn’t very good.’
Frank tried to suppress his anxiety and decided to focus on the opponent in front of him.
Whatever the case, fighting cannot be avoided.
‘In case you don’t know, I’ll do my best to kill him!’
Frank swung his sword of flames with the flesh in his eyes.
* * *
Sensing the waves of magical power felt in the distance, two other enlisted mages arrived at the scene of the fight.
One was short and looked like a child, and the other was tall and looked like a crippled leg.
“This is Frank’s quarters.”
“How many people have come? Has security been breached?”
The two dark-skinned war mages looked around as they stood where the battle had taken place.
I couldn’t feel the wave of the magic collision that I felt a moment ago anymore.
That means the fight is over.
“hey. Look over there.”
The short War Mage pointed to one side.
A bloodied body was lying there.
War Mage Frank Buckler dispatched to the Rare Metal Mining Mine.
He lay there, a cold corpse.
His eyes widened as he couldn’t believe he was defeated.
“Frank got hit. Wasn’t he a guy with a certain personality but one skill?”
“It seems that the intruder is not an ordinary bet.”
“Looking at the traces, it wasn’t that they were attacked by multiple people. one wizard. That too was lost in close combat.”
“Frank lost a melee fight against a mage?”
“The results speak for themselves, don’t they? And if Frank is a man with enough skill to be knocked down, then he must also be a War Mage.”
The two war mages naturally stood back to back and were wary of their surroundings.
It wasn’t that long ago that the wave of magical power was cut off.
That is, the intruder who took Frank’s breath away.
That said, he was still here.
It was then.
It wasn’t very strong, but all the lights that illuminated the interior of the large cavity were extinguished.
In an instant, darkness came and took away their sight.
“Are you going to block your view?”
“It’s an effective tactic. But it’s too obvious.”
The Knapsack War Mage pulled out a metal barrel from his waist.
When the string hanging from the end of the barrel was pulled, light jumped out and shot into the air.
The surroundings were filled with a much brighter light than before the lights went out.
The two War Mages carefully examined their surroundings to find the enemy hiding in the brightly lit landscape.
Because of the pure white light pouring from the top of their heads, dark shadows were cast beneath their feet.
The shadow wriggled.
“… … !”
War Mages with keen senses realized that something was wrong.
The War Mages immediately took off their backs and left their seats as if they were throwing themselves.
Right after that, countless thorns rose up from under their feet and pierced the place where they were just a moment ago.
If he had been late in avoiding it even a little bit, he would have become a skewer.
“Magic? Where are you?”
The small War Mage questioned the magic unfolding beneath her feet.
The war mage, tall and holding a quarter staff in one hand, stared at the black thorns.
Usually, magic unfolds around a wizard.
It was for this reason that the two stood back to back and waited for the enemy’s attack with vigilance.
The moment you use magic there, the hiding place will be revealed.
At that time, one was going to defend, and the other was going to counterattack as it was.
Even if you couldn’t knock it down, if you knew the location, you could win if you put pressure slowly with the two of you in a pincer attack.
But now, I had never heard of the magic that came out of the shadows.
I’m going to go to the middle of the day.
The black thorn was lifted, and then a person appeared from within.
It was a man wearing a black hoodie and a crow mask on his face.
When an intruder appeared on the spot where they were standing just a moment ago, the War Mage fell into confusion.
‘Have you been hiding in the ground? no. But that wasn’t an attack from beneath the ground. It was literally a shadow.’
What kind of magic did you mean?
While thinking about it, the black shadow, Ludger, opened his mouth.
“Are you not coming?”
“… … !”
The two war mages exchanged glances and then nodded.
The short War Mage drew two daggers in each hand.
The tall War Mage enchanted his quarterstaff.
The two war mages rushed at the master of the shadow at the same time.
* * *
Hans ran to where Ludger was. Sheridan was also with him.
“Where are you, brother? This one has been successfully completed!”
While Ludgar tied up the War Mages, the mine slaves took up their weapons and launched a surprise attack in the middle of the night.
It was great that all the patrols had been killed.
The slaves who had escaped from the situation where everyone was asleep came crashing in at once, so they couldn’t even resist.
The rebellion was successful.
As soon as Hans confirmed it, he immediately moved to find Rudger.
There are a total of 3 war mages here.
It was because he judged that it might be dangerous to fight against three war mages no matter how big he was.
Of course, if it was Rudgar, he would have fallen off on his own before it became dangerous.
If so, the War Mage should have come to the scene belatedly, but they didn’t.
That said, the fight continues to this day.
“brother… … sir?”
Hans ran into the scene full of traces of a fight, and was speechless at the horrors unfolding before his eyes.
Rudgar was fine.
He stood still, but there was a corpse that looked like a war mage near Ludger.
The short war mage who wielded the dagger was stabbed in the vital point by his own dagger and died.
War Mage, who was wielding a quarter staff, had his head smashed and his stomach pierced by the staff he was using.
“Are you here?”
Rudger turned to Hans and asked.
“Uh, yes. that… … I’m here to help… … .”
Hans muttered dejectedly while looking at the war mage’s corpse with a blank face.
“… … I was just worried.”