Silence fell over the vacant lot veiled in rain.
The sword that suddenly appeared wasn’t able to cut off Loyar’s hand; it got stuck after cutting into it halfway.
A sword had suddenly appeared in the little girl’s previously empty hand.
And Loyar had managed to block that sword with her bare hands.
Two very unbelievable things happened at the same time, leaving everyone’s mouths hanging wide open.
Loyar didn’t grab the sword, even while it was still stuck in her right hand, and instead kicked Ellen’s stomach and stole the weapon.
However, the stolen sword immediately disappeared from Loyar’s hands—it was as if it had never even existed; then it appeared in Ellen’s right hand again.
Loyar glared at that sight.
It clearly wasn’t a sword made using summoning magic.
A sword that was bound to the owner’s soul… That was a possibility.
However, there were only a few swords capable of such a feat in the world.
Ellen staggered while trying to stand up. Her whole body was drenched in rain, but Ellen still stared at Loyar with a firm expression etched on her face. Loyar couldn’t explain it, but she felt that Ellen wanted to kill her as much as she wanted to kill her at that moment.
The others didn’t realize that Loyar was actually trying to kill Ellen.
However, Ellen had already accumulated a lot of damage. If Loyar charged at her as she had before, Ellen would surely die.
“Why are you… doing this to me?”
Ellen couldn’t understand the situation.
Loyar silently looked at Ellen.
She was a completely unknown girl carrying something like a soulbound sword.
It wasn’t possible for her to recognize what that sword was, but it was clear that it held extraordinary powers.
Why did a girl like her carry something that shouldn’t exist in the world anymore?
Her heart told her that she should go on and kill her, but Loyar was even more confused than before.
Did Reinhardt know this girl’s identity? Or did he not know? If he knew, why didn’t he tell me about this monster yet?
Could it be that this girl’s existence was already part of Reinhardt’s grand plan?
She had no idea who the girl was, but it was clear that she was an even bigger existence than she initially thought.
And someone like that was running around in the rain looking for Reinhardt. She was destined to be their enemy no matter how she thought about it, but Loyar was inclined to think that Reinhardt wouldn’t have become friends with someone like her without having a plan in mind.
Loyar wasn’t able to strategize as well as Sarkegaar or Eleris.
‘I’m glad I failed.’
I shouldn’t have done something without any orders.
Loyar’s mind was buzzing with so many thoughts that she almost caused a massive disturbance in Reinhardt’s grand plan.
She didn’t know who Ellen was, but she was someone she shouldn’t touch.
“You should know the difference between us now.”
Loyar looked down at Ellen, who was shriveled up in a sullen mood.
She didn’t want to hurt her any further, but she still didn’t plan on taking her on her search for Reinhardt either.
The girl was dangerous, but she wouldn’t be of much help as she was.
“Go back. You’ll only get in the way.”
How the fuck are you going to help me when you’re so fucking weak.
That was what Loyar was trying to communicate with her eyes.
Ellen had no other choice but to hold her head low while clenching her teeth.
* * *
“Is this really okay… ?”
In the end, Loyar was able to subdue Ellen and told them that she would return Reinhardt to Temple safe and sound, so they should just take their mind off of the matter and go back to Temple. Ellen just silently walked through the rain, letting go of her umbrella, and Harriet followed her, carefully trying to cover the two of them with her umbrella.
Harriet couldn’t tell what Ellen’s expression looked like as she was walking with her head down.
However, after suffering an overwhelming defeat for the first time in her life, Ellen’s expression completely hardened.
‘I even summoned Lament…’
She summoned Lament because she felt her life was in danger, but that sword was only able to slightly dig into that person’s palm.
She wasn’t an ordinary person. A normal person wouldn’t have been able to block that divine sword with their bare hands. No, normal people wouldn’t even be able to block normal swords like that.
However, her opponent managed to completely block the divine sword like that.
That gray-haired woman seriously tried to kill her, but when she saw her sword, she changed her mind and let her go.
Ellen didn’t know why Loyar tried to kill her, and she understood even less why she had decided to keep her alive in the end.
“W-well, there were a lot of people… They probably know something… They’ll definitely find Reinhardt. Yes.”
Harriet made some exaggerated gestures, trying to paint the situation as positively as possible when she noticed that Ellen didn’t say anything. Ellen was dying to know what that sword that Ellen summoned was, but Ellen’s condition didn’t look so good at the moment.
What the hell.
Despite how quickly Ellen swung it at the head of that beggar organization, she still managed to block the divine sword?
Just what was that gray-haired woman and just what is Reinhardt?
She didn’t think that Ellen was the strongest in the world, but she also didn’t think that she would be so overwhelmingly beaten like that.
It was arrogant to think that she would be able to help them. After her overwhelming loss, Ellen couldn’t continue to protest the woman’s order to ‘get out because she would just get in the way’.
After all that, she had no other choice but to realize the fact that she would really only get in the way of the gray-haired woman if she followed her.
She didn’t know who that gray-haired woman was.
She had found out that there were even more things that she didn’t know about Reinhardt.
‘I… After all, I really know nothing about him.’
She wanted to know the things she didn’t know about him, so she ended up hurting Reinhardt. She wanted to make it up to him somehow, so she wanted to save him.
She wanted to do something.
But she wasn’t even able to do that.
Ellen trudged through the rain, forced to feel such utter helplessness for the second time in her life.
* * *
“Don’t tell anyone what you saw just now. You didn’t see anything.”
After Ellen and Harriet left, Loyar put a gag order on anyone about the fight that had happened.
A strange girl with a soulbound sword had appeared there.
“But that girl sure was no joke. Are all the people in Temple like that?”
Loyar frowned when she heard one of the gang members talk about it.
“Shut up. Don’t even talk about this among yourself. I don’t know what that girl was, but she wasn’t someone ordinary. If you talk about this, Temple or the Empire might do something against us.”
To be exact, it was because Reinhardt decided to keep quiet about the girl for some reason. Loyar’s words were absolute within the gang, so everyone just nodded.
The Rotary Gang’s Number Two, Daibun, came forward.
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“Big sis, what about Reinhardt…?”
Setting that fight aside, everyone was shocked by the information that Reinhardt had been kidnapped.
“I’ll figure it out. You guys get ready to go back to work as soon as the rain stops. Though it doesn’t look like it’ll let up any time soon.”
According to her prediction, Reinhardt should still be safe, but there was no time to delay.
“Are you going to be okay by yourself?” Daibun asked as if she was worried about Loyar going alone. Of course, Loyar just snorted to that.
“I kicked out that girl that actually managed to cut my hand like this, so do you think you’d be any more useful?”
Ellen had taken it as an overwhelming defeat, but Loyar evaluated her as a never-before-seen monster.
Of course, the other gang members weren’t a match for Ellen.
Loyar, covered in a robe, began to run into the rain.
* * *
As a result of their actions, although Ellen and Harriet were unable to find Reinhardt on their own, they played a decisive role in the search for Reinhardt.
It was already enough to inform Loyar, who had no idea that Reinhardt got kidnapped.
“His Highness is…?”
Loyar usually didn’t get into contact with the others, but due to the nature of the situation, she had gone straight to the shopping street in the Al Ligar District and met up with Eleris.
Ellen and Harriet were still lacking in ability. To be honest, Loyar wouldn’t have minded taking the two of them with her—assuming Eleris wouldn’t be involved.
If she went to rescue Reinhardt with the two of them, she would be unable to take Eleris with her. Of course, Eleris could do far more things at that point than Ellen and Harriet. It was hard to find something an Archmage wouldn’t be able to accomplish.
Eleris trembled slightly when she heard that Reinhardt had been kidnapped.
“How did that happen?”
“The amount of money the gang is earning now has grown exponentially and the complaints about us have also grown quite a bit, so we are trying to officially establish a base somewhere. During this heavy rain, everything we built up had been washed away. I thought we might as well move to the area we wanted to build our base altogether.”
Loyar crossed her arms and shook one of her legs. She seemed anxious.
“Incidentally, it seemed like His Highness came to see us directly to see if we were okay. He was worried, I guess. He thought he’d find us in the Wenster Market Street, so he wandered around that place… I think he got harassed by some guys over there. They probably ended up kidnapping him. Damn, what’s with this bad timing. Even if I had known in advance, there’s no way for our side to contact Temple…”
“So, who did it…?”
There was confusion and anger visible on Eleris’s face. It was only a guess that he got kidnapped, so she was already imagining the worst.
“I think it’s the Thieves’ Guild.”
“Why the Thieves’ Guild?”
Loyar didn’t share much about her organization’s internal matters, so Eleris had no idea what was going on within the Rotary Gang or its connections.
“I think they want to smash the gang apart. That’s also why I tried to avoid Wenster Market. That’s their turf. Perhaps they were waiting for us there because they didn’t manage to touch us directly—they were probably trying to figure out what they should do. But then His Highness, who they knew as our gang’s successor, basically ran into their arms. Of course, they had that much information.”
The connection was quite vague, but Loyar’s reasoning was pretty plausible.
Reinhardt entered the Market without knowing that he was actually stumbling into a tiger’s den.
If the gang and the Thieves’ Guild still had a friendly relationship, there wouldn’t have been a problem, but Reinhardt was completely unaware of how the situation had progressed.
Eleris got up from her seat, seeming as if she didn’t want to hear any more.
The flame of rage was flickering in her calm eyes.
“Where is the Thieves’ Guild’s headquarters?”
Intense anger was boiling inside Eleris’ eyes at that point as if she was about to destroy everything in her way. Loyar lightly tapped her shoulder in an attempt to calm her down.
“Calm down for a sec.”
“…His Highness is in danger, so we have to move quickly.”
“I mean, isn’t it kind of weird?”
“Weird? What is?”
Loyar felt like the whole situation was very suspicious.
“Right now, Wenster Market is teeming with Temple’s forces and Guards. That being said, they realized that His Highness had disappeared there. Then the Thieves’ Guild would, of course, be on the very top of their suspect list.”
Loyar knew that the Wenster district was the Thieves’ Guild’s turf, but if Temple’s forces and the Guards were also investigating that place, they should have the same information. Although Loyar didn’t know it, the Prince and Princess’ forces were also trying to find Reinhardt.
“They aren’t complete fools either. They should know that the Thieves’ Guild is pretty much the prime suspect. So why haven’t they found him yet?”
“You mean to say that the Thieves’ Guild might not be the culprit?”
“Hmm… I don’t know. Maybe the search party is only focused on Wenster Market and isn’t looking anywhere else.”
It was more than obvious that the Thieves’ Guild were the most likely to do something like this, so why hadn’t they found Reinhardt yet? Did that mean they weren’t the culprit?
That was what Loyar found suspicious.
“That’s fine. We’ll find out if we pay them a visit. Like that, we’ll find out if your guess is right or not.”
Eleris opened a map of the Imperial Capital on a table.
“Point where the Thieves’ Guild’s headquarters are,” she said with a sullen look on her face.
It seemed like she was about to teleport to the place and destroy everything she found there.
Things were going more than smoothly thanks to the information Ellen and Harriet gave to Loyar.