◈ Episode 373 Cheshire Tiger (2)
The fuss did not last long and was quickly settled.
The three Cheshire Tigers that attacked the expedition eventually became cold bodies and fell to the ground.
Cheshire Tiger, whose head was crushed to death, is the work of Rudger and Arfa.
The other two Cheshire Tigers either pierced their whole bodies with a steel spear and then were burned with electricity, or they vomited blood from strange blisters all over their bodies.
The condition of the corpse alone stood out the characteristics of the wizards who fought.
Among them, the one that caught the most attention was Arfa.
The wizards who witnessed Arfa killing the Cheshire Tiger whispered among themselves.
“That little boy. What is your true identity?”
“I thought he was just a student at school, because he went with Rudger Celish.”
“saw? He wielded that Cheshire Tiger with his bare hands. Are you a knight?”
“That little kid is a knight? You have to sound sensible. Even a cadet isn’t that young.”
“Otherwise, how do you explain that power?”
Arpa, in the form of a child, killed a giant tiger with his bare hands, which was a surprise.
It’s surprising that the target he killed was a tiger, but he became a loser in one district after absorbing the mana of Kasar Basin for a long time.
It was a team of three, but just beating that guy was a big deal.
The wizards talked about Arpa as a very talented apprentice knight.
And with that skill, he would soon become a knight.
Roina overheard the noise around her and asked Arfa.
“Were you a knight?”
“It’s not that article.”
“I’m not a knight, how could I get such power… … ah!”
Roina grinned at Arfa as if she had noticed it, and closed one eye.
“all right. I’ll do it for you.”
“Is it roughly like that? You can’t hear it. I am quick-witted.”
Are you quick-witted? Isn’t it dirty at this point?
Rudger spoke so that only he could hear Arfa, who did not understand this series of circumstances.
“It was originally like that. People only see what they want to see. It’s familiar.”
“Aren’t the cases different between the leader and me?”
“What is different?”
“that… … .”
Arfa pondered how to explain this.
If you think about it, there was a part of what Rudger had been through so far.
Arfa agreed and decided to move on.
More than that, the follow-up process that was happening now was stimulating Arfa’s curiosity.
“What is that?”
Rudger murmured calmly.
“It’s literally a body bag. As a kind of magic item, it has a low-temperature function and light weight to prevent corruption.”
“Why would you do that… … .”
“I guess he brought it because he thought something like this might happen. Throwing away the body will be an insult to the deceased.”
“I was prepared to bring it. It’s a pity.”
“Maybe it’s rather fortunate that even a corpse was safely rescued from this Kassar Basin.”
23 people were killed in the attack of the Cheshire Tigers.
As a result, 15 porters and 8 wizards died.
It was a disaster that occurred because he did not realize the habits and characteristics of the Cheshire Tiger.
“hey! How long will you stay here! Let’s go!”
Then, with the sound of voices rising from one side, the two groups clashed.
It was a structure where one side was unilaterally arguing, but the arguing side was the elderly who seemed to be researchers.
“How much time do you think we have? It’s not even a day here, but every minute and every second is like gold. But if you hesitate like this, when will you reach the mansion?”
“A person has died. Among them, there is a battle mage who fought on the front lines.”
“Dead is dead. Why is it so difficult to move only with a corpse!”
“Is that what you say for the wizards who died fighting to protect you?”
“It was a deal like that in the first place, wasn’t it? We give knowledge, you give force. In the meantime, no one is to blame for the disaster. Would you have said that?”
“Can’t you feel even the slightest sense of pity?”
“joy. Are we here to mourn people? We came to seek knowledge. Other than that, it’s none of our business.”
At the old scholar’s words, the battle mage gritted his teeth and clenched his fists.
As Ludger and Arfa watched the scene, Roina, who had been away for a while, recognized the scholars and hardened her face.
“The School of Truth.”
“Are these people you know?”
“Everyone knows. It’s famous in this industry. It is a school that seeks knowledge and studies magic, and is mostly made up of elderly people.”
“It seems to be famous in a bit of a bad way.”
Well, just looking at the way he was arguing now seemed like enough.
It was because the eyes of the people around the School of Truth were not good.
“It is famous. First of all, the people who belong there are all prominent people, and they are actually excellent in the field of knowledge, but… … Because I’m incredibly arrogant. If it’s for the sake of a goal, they will do whatever it takes, belittle human life, and be filled with their own stubbornness.”
“Looking at the reactions around me, it seems like this isn’t the first time or two.”
“An accident due to an unreasonable schedule has not been missed every year. That’s why everyone refuses to accept requests for protection over there, but… … .”
“Did you give me a lot of money?”
Roina nodded her head with a bitter expression.
No matter how annoying people are, if you call for a reward, people who are attracted to it will inevitably gather.
Rudger looked closely at the people of the School of Truth.
It occurred to me that maybe Leslie was hiding there.
In the meantime, the site was cleaned up, and the expedition started moving again.
Perhaps because of the Cheshire Tiger’s attack a moment ago, the wizards were sharp.
Just by looking at the mana fluctuating in emotions, it is the same.
Perhaps thanks to that, there haven’t been any raids since the Cheshire Tiger.
“Everyone has become incredibly sensitive.”
In the midst of that, Arfa spoke innocently and without hesitation.
Of course, the voice was so low that only Rudger and Roina could hear it.
“Because someone died. It’s funny how you’re still sticking to the forest after all this has happened. Even if you turn around a bit, it will be safe if you go through the plains.”
“It is not.”
Roina answered like a knife.
Uncharacteristically for her usual indecisiveness, her tone was unusually determined.
“Mr. Rudger may not know yet because it is his first time here, but he cannot be vigilant because the Cassar Basin is a plain. no. Rather, plains are more dangerous. Yes, it is very dangerous.”
“Is there a reason?”
“It’s because of the mysterious power that dwells in this land.”
“Something must have happened.”
“… … There were wizards who tried to clear another route to the mansion. They tried to turn around through the plains, not through the woods. They said it seemed safer.”
Roina’s voice, recalling the past, was slightly trembling.
“All of them were 4th tier wizards, and they had a lot of practical experience. The porters were also mercenaries who rolled on the battlefield. It was objectively not a bad combination. They tried to move around the forest and through the open plains. I’m not trying to go too far. I was just trying to follow the border of the forest.”
“The intentions are not bad.”
“However, if there is something they have overlooked, it is the strange power that resides in this land. Mr Rudger. Do you know what happened to them the moment they left the outpost and headed to the plains?”
I couldn’t see it, so I couldn’t know it.
Of course, Roina didn’t ask for an answer either.
“It is gone. like a charm. It happened after less than 30m of walking on flat ground.”
“You mean it’s gone?”
“yes. Like her phantom, one blink of her eye and it’s gone. A group of about a dozen people, composed of 4th tier wizards, evaporated all at once. What’s even scarier is what happened next.”
“What else was there?”
“The next morning. In the place where they disappeared, something appeared. It was a pile of white bones. The skulls, which appeared to be human, matched exactly the number of people who disappeared.”
“… … .”
“It’s not like someone brought it. There were no signs of it around. Just as it disappeared, it appeared in an instant. And even though it was only a day or so, the remains seemed like many years had passed. It was unbelievable even after seeing it with my own eyes.”
Roina lightly brushed her forearm with the palm of her hand, as if she still got goosebumps when she remembered that time.
“That was five years ago. When I first came here.”
Her voice was terrified.
“It was so sudden. It was literally a phenomenon beyond common sense. I wasn’t a Lexler back then, but if I were to go through it again now, I still wouldn’t understand. No, maybe you don’t want to see it.”
After that incident, no wizards moved anywhere other than the forest road.
Because this land itself was a different world, and countless other worlds spread out within that other world.
“In that sense, the forest is safer. The densely grown forest suppresses the excessive flow of mana. Like a breakwater on the seashore.”
“In the face of a great calamity, it is far better to simply pass the dangerous beast.”
“A lot of people died while realizing that.”
If we had enough time, we could have pioneered the plains as well.
Unfortunately, this is an unknown land that is open only three days a year.
It was like they had done their best just by pioneering the forest road.
‘It’s a mysterious land, but more than that, it’s also a place where death overflows.’
In a place like this, I wanted to look into the minds of the wizards who hold the Mystery Night every year.
No, considering that there are many wizards who take risks for the sake of knowledge, that might be abnormal.
‘Are other beasts not appearing anymore?’
Perhaps thanks to the elimination of the Cheshire Tigers, the march was not blocked.
Occasionally, it slowed down a bit when passing dangerous plants, but no more accidents occurred, probably because everyone was nervous enough.
‘If Bellaluna saw it, she might have died.’
At that moment, he felt something that stimulated Rudger’s spirits.
It feels like a thin, sticky film of oil has passed over your body.
not the gaze It is also different from mana detection.
It was a strange thing that is difficult to describe in words.
‘Something just went through the entire expedition.’
But no one seemed to notice it.
In this place, only Rudger felt it.
The skin was weak, but goose bumps were sprouting.
‘It wasn’t like this during the attack of the Cheshire Tiger.’
That said, the guy watching the expedition right now was more than a Cheshire Tiger.
A guy more dangerous than the Cheshire Tiger, who possesses mana for a long time and uses pseudo-magic.
‘Maybe there really is a spiritual being with intelligence here.’
Neither indiscriminate attack nor appearance.
Maybe it wouldn’t be strange to say that he is the ruler of this forest.
Rudger was suddenly curious.
‘If we meet, will we be able to get a tooth?’
* * *
The march, which lasted all morning, ended around noon.
The densely grown trees became sparse, and eventually the forest ended.
Beyond the woods was a low hill, on which, to my surprise, a mansion stood.
“Ohhhh. at las.”
“Is that the secret mansion that exists in this Cassar Basin?”
Those who saw it for the first time and those who had visited this place several times could not take their eyes off the majesty of the mansion.
Rudgar also surveyed the mansion with an interesting gaze.
‘It looks like a new house just built.’
Since it was built a long time ago, no one would even manage it, but the exterior of the mansion was as clean as if it had just been built.
But I couldn’t just keep watching.
The reason everyone here came was not to see the mansion.
Now these great people must go inside the mansion.
“Are you okay? Even if it rushes like this.”
“Uhm. Since this is the first time for Mr. Rudger, you might be puzzled, but it doesn’t matter if all of these people enter.”
“Is it because the mansion is spacious? Even so, if these numbers move at the same time, it won’t be too crowded.”
“It doesn’t matter how many people enter that mansion. Even if there are not 300 people in this place, but a thousand people, you can still enter that mansion.”
Roina said with such confidence.
“And 300 people are not going to move together at the same time. Not exactly.”
“It’s because of the mysterious power that dwells in the mansion.”
“that’s right. From inside the mansion, you now have to move as a team. Minimum of 5 and maximum of 20 people. That’s the ‘rule’ given to the mansion.”
There is a maximum number of people, but there is also a minimum number of people.
Rudger looked at Arfa and Roina.
Even so, the number is only three.
At least two people to gather. No, maybe I should gather one more person because of Arfa.
Even though Arfa looked like this, he wasn’t human, and the mansion might not recognize him that way.
As he looked around, he saw the wizards forming their own teams.
Of the 300 people, the number of wizards who came for pure research was about 200.
The porters wait outside, and some of the battle mages remain because they don’t know what will happen outside.
Even so, only 200 people would go inside.
“I need to gather people first. Mr Royna. Is it possible?”
“yes? Well, I don’t have any close wizards.”
Seeing Roina immediately shaking her head, Ludger wondered if she had asked for nothing.
Just then, an elderly wizard approached Rudger.
“Shall I go with you?”