◈ Episode 279: The Shadow Conference (2)
The moment Mandelina saw Ludger, she was like a frog in front of a snake, unable to move.
In a way, it was a natural reaction.
Because this man was Jack the Ripper, who wiped out all Black Ops she belonged to seven years ago.
how can i forget
Mandelina’s mission is to gather information about Ludgar’s past status under the orders of the first princess Eileen.
Mandelina, who took on the role, couldn’t have known if she didn’t know at all.
“Answer me, Mandelina. Why are you here?”
Rudger narrowed his eyes as he said that, and Mandelina’s body trembled like an aspen tree.
The horrors of that day still lingered like scars deep in Mandelina’s bones.
When Ludger’s momentum grew sharper, it was none other than the 1st Princess Eileen who handed him a helping hand.
“stop. Now you are my faithful subordinate, so I hope you don’t push me any further.”
Rudger also recognized that he was too sharp and regained his momentum. He just couldn’t help but scold Eileen.
“To embrace someone who rebelled against you. You are not usually brave.”
“I wouldn’t have done that originally, but Mandelina isn’t usually a singular character. I’m taking it because I’m interested.”
Rudger nodded involuntarily at the words of an unusual personality.
Team Black Ops are illegal specialists who do not cover any means and methods in carrying out their missions.
Kidnapping, intimidation, torture, and murder were routine to them.
So Team Black Ops was mostly composed of psychopaths or those who rarely expressed emotions.
A level that is hard to see as a human except for his high level of loyalty.
Except for Mandelina.
A lighthearted attitude that does not sincerely follow orders even when ordered.
A coward who does not prefer to fight, even though he has anti-magic skills that make him ridiculously good against wizards.
Even the pitiful patience of being genuinely angry at being teased by a little boy on the roadside.
Mandelina was the owner of a peculiar temperament to the extent that one wondered why such a person was in Black Ops.
“I remember. When he faced me then, he ugly begged me to save him.”
As Rudger spoke, recalling the past, Mandelina shrugged.
His expression was not very good, perhaps because he remembered what had happened at that time.
“Hoo. Did it happen to you too?”
“No way, again… … ?”
“It is the same. As she marched in person to root out the remnants of her coup, she knelt down in front of her original daughter and raised her hands.”
Eileen remembered that day.
The moment Mandelina saw Princess Eileen among the pursuers who followed her, she raised her hands and said,
-surrender! I will surrender! Just live!
The pursuers, who were very nervous at the word that they were from Black Ops Team Alpha, lost even the will to fight at the stupid appearance.
It was the same for Eileen, who was planning to lower the mace mercilessly.
It was so absurd that I didn’t even think about killing it.
Rudger also remembered seven years ago.
Even then, Mandelina immediately expressed his intention to surrender the moment he faced Rudger.
When all the other Black Ops team members looked down on Rudger and tried to fight, he was the only one who crouched in the corner.
‘okay. It was like that then too.’
Ludger, who had risen a lot, lost interest in asking what this was.
But that’s why Mandelina is still alive.
“Well, it may have been in the past, but now it is my faithful dog. You don’t have to worry.”
“Me, Princess. Aren’t you a little bit like a dog anyway?”
“Don’t you like it? I can unleash it again and turn it into a wild dog like before.”
When Eileen asked with a terrifying gaze, Mandelina became contemplative and shook her head vigorously.
“Oh no! How can I hate it! Just give me orders! Because I’m the princess’s faithful dog! lol.”
“… … .”
Seeing Princess Eileen holding the Mandelina tightly made me feel strangely pitiful rather than thrilled.
‘Rather than that, I wanted to ask how you taught Aidan about anti-magic.’
Things weren’t looking too good to bring up the subject.
Knowing that Mandelina, who was thought to be wandering around the world, has become a hunting dog under the direct control of the 1st princess, another opportunity will come later.
“So, Mandelina. Any news?”
Eileen didn’t invite Mandelina to chat after such a long marriage, so Eileen went straight to the point.
Mandelina also conveyed the news she found out with a serious expression.
“Yes, I followed their trail as you instructed… … It has been confirmed that they are still inside the capital.”
“It’s inside the capital. I thought I was looking like a mouse, but it seems that there is something I missed.”
I said that, but Eileen responded that she already knew the answer.
It was the same for Rudger, who was listening alongside.
“It’s an underground capital.”
Mandelina nodded, confirming his guess.
“I followed the traces of them and went into the underground water supply, but I decided that it was impossible to go beyond that and came back.”
Eileen asked intrigued by Mandelina’s candid report.
Even if Mandelina’s words and actions don’t seem to be very trustworthy, her skills were genuine.
I didn’t parachute into Black Ops, and I wasn’t lucky enough to use anti-magic.
It’s because he has a strange personality, but if you look at his pure skill and ability, Mandelina is definitely first-class.
If Mandelina had stepped down, it was clear that the underground capital had already become their den.
“Was it impossible to infiltrate? The reason is?”
“Because there were surveillance everywhere, the only place you could go in unnoticed was right near the entrance.”
“Hmm. I’m sure he wasn’t sent for combat, but he told me to spy on him, so that should be enough.”
Knowing that they were underground, there was income from that alone.
Rudger, who had been quietly listening to the conversation, opened his mouth.
“The imperial family came from the dimension of rest, but it seems that the timing was not good.”
“hot. You are so good at telling lies that even a passing child would not believe. So what are you going to do now?”
“for a moment.”
When Eileen asked, Ludger raised his head.
As if waiting for something.
It was a moment when Eileen was also puzzled by that.
Something black and whitish flew towards us from afar.
It was a big crow.
But surprisingly, the crow had a note attached to its ankle.
When Rudger held out his hand, the crow naturally landed on Rudger’s forearm.
Mandelina, who was watching from the side, exclaimed quietly.
Ludger’s natural stretching out arms to call the crows was like watching a famous painting.
Of course, it’s funny to think about this, considering that the target is a rare monster who once blew up his job and nearly killed himself.
Still, the scary was scary, and the wonderful was wonderful.
When Rudger said that while taking care of the letter the crow had brought, the crow croaked once and flew back up.
“Amazing. Did you know how to command a bird?”
“It’s not me, it’s a subordinate guy.”
Rudger quickly scanned the letter as he answered.
Then, he instantly burned it with magic and turned it into ashes.
Seeing the scene, Aileen asked in a blunt tone.
“What’s interesting is that you only watch it alone.”
“Because it is a habit to be concerned about security.”
“Is there anything I shouldn’t know about?”
“Hoo. You mean you burned the letter in front of me? That’s a really worthy attitude. I want my men to learn too.”
When Mandelina asked innocently from the side, Eileen glared.
‘Are you ignorant?’ he said with a look in his eyes. Immediately, Mandelina became depressed and his shoulders drooped.
“So what was written in the letter? Couldn’t you just pass it on?”
“Looks like there’s something underground. Something very huge.”
“yes. They said it was a huge plant beyond imagination.”
Eileen narrowed her eyes at the word giant plant.
* * *
“Ha, Mr. Hans. Did you send it right?”
“Obviously. By now, you should have received the letter from me.”
A huge underground facility in Lindebrunn.
Hans and Bellaluna moved quietly inside the dark underground waterway.
“Even so, it’s amazing. Although the capital is wide, I never thought the underground waterway would be this deep.”
Hans frowned as he recalled the complicated road.
Even though I got a map inside, the road was so complicated that I wasn’t even sure if I was moving properly.
If only he could communicate with the rats, but even the rats, which were Hans’ strength, were nowhere to be seen.
All of them were afraid to approach them.
“It is not an ordinary sewer. It is a much deeper and more detailed facility than that.”
Hans muttered as he looked around.
Bellaluna nodded her head because she agreed with that part.
“Chi, it’s called the Millennium Empire, but I didn’t expect the underground world to be so complex and gigantic.”
“No matter how many years pass, a building cannot rise above a certain height, but the ground can continue to be dug down. Just looking at the lack of maintenance, it’s practically a deserted area. It’s the first time the Empire has such a facility.”
It was suspicious that rats did not enter such an abandoned place.
The place where the two of them are now is deeper than the underground waterway.
It was an abandoned underground facility that was once used as an underground aqueduct, but is no longer in use.
“Besides, that’s what I saw when I came in. Was it the root of a giant tree? Do you know anything?”
The withered root of a huge tree that I saw as I entered the facility.
It was the first time even Hans had seen it.
‘In the first place, there is a city above, how can there be trees underground?’
Hans’ question was natural.
Bellaluna pondered Hans’ question before opening her mouth.
“To be honest, I don’t think of a tree that big.”
“No, you’re an elf, so why don’t you know that?”
“Eh, I don’t know all elves, right? I don’t know, so now I’m going to find out!”
“Is that kind of elf always trying to use me as a test subject?”
“Because that is the process of finding out.”
“I’ll catch someone who knows me twice.”
“Do not worry. Mr. Hans is not an ordinary person, so he will be fine.”
“Isn’t that a compliment?”
“That’s why I think it’s okay to be rough with her a few times.”
“Isn’t that a compliment?!”
The two bickering and walking on the road came across a huge tree root again.
Roots withered and discolored, ivory rather than dark brown.
Hans’ expression became serious when he saw it protruding through one side of the waterway facility’s wall.
“Maybe we walked quite a bit?”
“But the fact that it’s sticking out here too… … .”
“The scale of the roots is quite large.”
“Do you think these roots are normal?”
“To be honest, it’s absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.”
“So you still have any guesses? You’re an elf.”
“Because I don’t know all elves.”
Bellaluna objected, but stared at the tree roots through her orange hair.
“this… … .”
“No matter how you look at it… … .”
The two opened and closed their mouths at the same time, then stared at each other.
“What is it, tell me?”
“Am I? Didn’t Hans notice it too?”
“Actually, I also came up with it a little while ago, but I don’t think I should mention it. I will yield to the plant expert elf.”
“Only at times like this are you treated as an elf?”
“So you have to treat it even more in times like this.”
Bellaluna also sighed and approached the root because she was not confident in the fight.
“This, no matter how you look at it, seems like that.”
“What if that?”
“… … The source of our elves. world demand.”
Bellaluna stared at the wall where the roots protruded.
Beyond that, where the source of these roots is.
Then, a strange sound came from somewhere.
Bellaluna looked back at Hans, and Hans stared at Bellaluna.
“Isn’t that what you just said?”
“I thought it was from your ship.”
“What is that, don’t frame it. How does a human stomach make animal noises?”
“No, then, as an elf, does it make sense for me to make animal noises?”
“… … .”
“… … .”
Both of them shut their mouths at the same time.
They forcibly moved their heads, which did not move well, as if creaking, and looked at the passage they had come from.
Through the faint light shining in the distance, I could see a shadow coming towards me.
Hans and Bellaluna both fled at the same time.
* * *
“Princess. Is there something underground in the capital by any chance?”
According to the report from Hans, there was a huge structure and something like the roots of a tree in the basement.
It was beyond common sense that such a thing exists underground in a prosperous capital city.
However, there was no way that Hans had bothered to lie in the letter.
Considering all these issues, the underground facilities and giant roots Hans said are all true.
“There’s something else down the aqueduct.”
“… … .”
There is something.
And Princess Eileen was vaguely aware of that fact.