The Future Plan and They who Moved behind the Curtain
「———So, because the Academy is closed down, you and Seiichi came back?」
The King of the Wimburg Kingdom, Ranze aka Ranzelph, gripped his head when Louis updated him with the information.
There was a bit of discussion taking place when Helen expressed her wish to get strong, and her will was firm after all, so Seiichi brought Helen when he came back to Terveil.
And, while Seiichi went to the Guild HQ to determine his next course of action, Louis returned to the castle to report.
「No, the fact that a royal guard like you left me itself is weird enough… that being said, aren’t you being too free?」
「Please listen, Your Majesty. My level has surpassed 700.」
「You didn’t hear me at all, did you!? Wait, 700!?!?」
Ranze’s eyes opened wide.
「How on Earth did you get to that ridiculous height of a level!? It’s even more surprising than the time when I heard you’ve become a 『Transcendent』!」
「It’s the result of me following along with Sishou when he eradicated a Dungeon.」
「I don’t understand a single thing that came out of your mouth! What do you mean he eradicated a Dungeon!? And you said it’s got something to do with Seiichi!?」
Ranze who was dismayed by Louis’ words regained his composure after letting out a sigh.
「Haah… I know you’re not someone who’d joke around, so it must be true, but… just who the hell is Seiichi? That guy has the strange tendency to hide himself, but everybody knows he’s not your average joe with how he healed me from a curse. I can’t tell if he has any intent to stay hidden or not….」
「Come to think of it, apparently, Shishou came from the same hometown as the Kaizer Empire’s heroes.」
「Just how much more do you want to surprise me!? Eh, that means he’s… an otherworlder!?」
「Apparently, he is. However, as he wasn’t summoned as a Hero by the Kaizer Empire, he said he isn’t a Hero… There is a big gap of difference in strength between him and the Heroes. Of course, Shishou is the stronger one.」
「You don’t even need to tell, I know. But what’s with the matter of being stronger than the heroes? Won’t that make the Empire miserable……」
With a tired look, Ranze reclined on his back.
「Aah…… Those Kaizer lots really never do anything decent… at one minute they summoned brats from another world and call them heroes, and the next minute they’re at our doorstep spewing world unification……」
「Come to think of it…. is our Kingdom okay? The fact that I speak with Your Majesty, is proof that we didn’t suffer any major problems, but I had heard how most of the continent is under the Kaizer Empire’s influence.」
Questioned by Louis, Ranze’s face turned serious.
「Yeah, about that matter… Seiichi saved our skin again this time.」
「You remember the time those 【Demon God Cult】lot came attacking?」
Remembering the scene back then made Louis’ face clouded.
——At the day of the conference between the Kingdom of Wimburg and the Kingdom of Demons, the 【Demon God Cult】 rallied an army of monsters to assail Terveil.
Both Kingdoms deployed all of their forces, and with the help of the Guild HQ, a battle against the incoming monsters took place.
However, the monsters and some of the Apostles were a diversion as the invaders’ real target was the daughter of the Demon Lord, Lutia. While the allied party managed to suppress the Apostles’ assault on her, Lutia fell to a 【Cursed Tool】 from an Apostle’s sneak attack.
The situation outside wasn’t as favorable either, with the sheer size of the monster army as well as the strong opposition from the extraordinarily powerful Apostles that brought the Knights and S-rank Adventurers to their knees, Louis was even on the brink of death from a dagger attack.
However, with the arrival of the First Demon King and the Dark Aristocrat Zeanos who were advised by Seiichi to migrate to Terveil, the tide quickly turned.
Perhaps retaining his level from his monster days, Zeanos was over level 1500 along with Lucius, the First Demon King, as well as Abel’s former hero party members who were also not far from there.
Ergo, the Apostles’ invasion was prevented all thanks to Zeanos and his group’s intervention, and with Treasure Chest’s help to bring Seiichi into the area, Lutia was safely awakened.
「With you and the 【Black Paladin】, my soldiers are outstanding. I declare that with pride. And yet… For some reason, every soldiers of Kaizer Empire is said to be a 『Transcendent』, I really can’t laugh to this joke.」
「……I also have obtained that information from the Commander of the Second Army, Zakir, in Barbatora. So, it is the truth then.」
「Yeah. And so, while indeed my soldiers are outstanding, we can’t do shit against 『Transcendents』. You can’t just overcome the gap in Status correspondence with the level, after all. The Guild HQ also took up weapons, but with how the Kaizer Empire occupied almost every single Guild branch in their respective countries, the situation is a bit tricky. We got nothing to depend on, even I thought we would be goners. But……」
Having said that far, Ranze cracked a twitching smile as he replayed the scene in his mind.
「……Zeanos and Lucius, the two that received the job to train the Demon Army, assaulted the Kaizer Empire’s troops stationed near the city by themselves. They even pushed them to withdraw.」
「No, I’m serious, okay? Those two. I’ve seen the name Zeanos from some old books, and Lucius is the First Demon Lord? Everything is just too absurd……」
「……It must’ve been tiring.」
Feeling how misfortunate it was for him, all Louis could give to Ranze were those short words.
「No, this is good, y’know? All thanks to them, the Kaizer Empire backed off from Wimberg and now we’re safe and sound. ……Come to think of it, Robert, Geonis, and Lattice have arrived here shortly before you did. They’re resting at the moment」
「Is that so……If so, then the words of the commander of the Second Army was truthful; I believe the other students have made it home safely as well.」
Even if Zakir had given his words, there wasn’t any real method to confirm what he said. And so, seeing that the Crown Prince of the Kingdom they were invading had returned safely, it was safe to assume that the other students would be fine as well. Thus Louis speculated.
「Well, we had a lot on our plate when you were away…… Louis, shouldn’t you know that? I mean, they even occupied the supposedly neutral Barbadora Magic Academy.」
「……Yes. Because of them, Mentor was driven away from the Academy. I can’t forgive them for this.」
「……You’ve changed, huh. Rather, when it comes to Seiichi, you’d prioritize him first before you do me, your own King…… This is moving my heart, as someone who knows your past.」
「? Is that so? Isn’t it natural for a disciple to always think of her Mentor?」
「……Aah, well, what emotion that makes you tick…… And, above all, what emotion that you’re not aware of, I’m not the one to say. I gotta let Florio know about this……」
Louis wasn’t sure of the meaning behind Ranze’s words, and it would be a little while until she realized why she was so obsessed with Seiichi, but…… That was a tale for another time. As of now, Louis still couldn’t find the name of the feelings she had for him.
「Well, don’t mind that. So, where’s he now?」
「Seiichi. Didn’t he come back with you?」
「Aah, Mentor is—」
「——Ooh, Seiichi-kun, Altoria-kun, Saria-kun! Long time no see! Well, do you want to train your muscles with me!?」
「That’s the first thing you asked!?」
I……Hiiragi Seiichi visited the Guild HQ for the first time in a long while and, as usual, Gassur invited us with his bulging muscles covered with only a pair of boomerang pants.
——After Helen told us that she wanted to get stronger, our first action was to tentatively go back to the Royal Capital Terveil. Louis used the opportunity to report to Ranze-san and broke off from our group while we plus Helen went to the Guild HQ to gather some information.
Even if Helen wanted to be trained by me, it wasn’t like I knew how to train her, and since I expected to be able to get some info regarding that and what happened to the world, we decided to go here. Also, Helen hadn’t registered with the Guild yet, so I asked her to come with us since it would be more convenient that way, considering we would take action together for the foreseeable future.
I would have to go check on Zeanos, my parents, and the others later. Lutia must be wondering how the members of her Demon Army were doing, and I was pretty sure Saria would like to meet her parents too.
As I hadn’t visited the Guild in a while, I peeked in and looked around, then…
「DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY DESTRROOOOYYY!!!!! …Before that though, I’m worried about those from the branch guilds .」
「Very well then… Let’s bring my naked body to the plaza again today…」
「Slan-shi… Are you not going to take off your socks?」
「Mu? My goodness… How unbecoming of me… Hahaha, it appears that I am too worried about the guild branches. My mind isn’t on the right track. What about you, Walter-shi. I have heard how you’ve been keeping a distance with the children lately…」
「Ah, how embarrassing… I’ve been somewhat absent-minded lately…」
Just as usual, they lived faithfully to their carnal desire, but they somehow seemed to be more air-headed.
As I twisted my neck, wondering about this, Gassur gave a wry smile.
「Fumu… It seems like you noticed that something is wrong with us」
「Ah… There is something wrong, after all? I feel like they’re a bit sluggish, or something…」
No, well, them being too energetic will bring a lot of troubles too. Mainly for the soldiers.
That being said, it was still puzzling for me to see them so down in the dumps for the first time, considering I had seen them head-butting with an army of monsters with a smile from ear to ear before.
Apparently my worries weren’t exclusively mine, as Saria and Al, whom I was sure had spent more time knowing them longer than I do, were also puzzled.
「Everyone doesn’t seem cheerful. What’s wrong?」
「Oi, Gassur.…… Saria is right, what the hell happened? You too, now that I take a good look, you’ve lost the luster on your skin…… Don’t usually you usually talk about your muscles and do your skin care?」
「Aah…… What, it has something to do with why you guys came back.」
「Eh? Why we are back? Isn’t that……」
The reason why we were back to this town again was because the Barbadora Magic Academy had been taken over by the Kaizer Empire.
As Gassur gave me a serious look that was uncharacteristically for him, he then told me all about the Guild’s situation.
「The Kaizer Empire has declared war against the whole world, and, if we’re to trust their announcement, most of the countries have fallen into their hands. The only ones left right now are us Wimburg Kingdom, the Varshal Empire, the Eastern Country, and the Demon Kingdom. The only fortunate thing is that Seiichi, we have your acquaintances, Zeanos-kun and the others, in this Kingdom. They were a huge help during the 【Demon God Cult】’s assault too, and it’s thanks to them we can enjoy this period of peace. Well, this is nothing but a borrowed time, though……」
When he said borrowed time, that means that the Kaizer Empire might try to do something again, right?
Just mentioning the name Kaizer Empire is enough to make me think that they’re all nothing but bad news, but there was one person from the Kaizer Empire in the Big Eatery Competition that Rurune participated in, and I thought he was quite normal. Well, his name was fairly unique, though.
「Honestly, while we’re protected from the threat of the Kaizer Empire all thanks to Zeanos-kun and his companions, the situation ain’t getting better. After all their soldiers are all 『Transcendents』 now. I haven’t a clue what kind of method they used to make that happen, but we can’t just brush that fact under the rug, and without Zeanos-kun and the others around, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Kaizer Empire had had the entire world under its thumb. It’s hard to overturn this situation even with the help of my muscles……」
So it’s just hard but you can overturn it if you work hard enough? Wow, muscles are amazing.
That being said, I guess 『Transcendents』 are something to be seen as a ridiculous existence by the others, huh. Well, there are some of those 『Transcendents』 thingy right here right now, though.
「And while the Guild in this Kingdom is safe, we have many branches in many other countries. Now that those countries are under Kaizer Empire’s control, we don’t know the fate of our branches, and we’ve received no information from them at all. For that reason, we are now gathering as much information as possible about them, but……it’s not looking good.」
Apparently, the reason for the strange atmosphere in the Guild is because everyone wants to know the situation and the safety of the members in those Guild branches.
As I was looking around inside the headquarter’s hall once again, Gassur suddenly noticed Helen and Zola and turned his gaze to them.
「Come to think of it, that’s two new faces I haven’t seen before. And, on the side note, I also want to know why the daughter of the Demon Lord is here with you……」
「Umm, well…… Ever since the 【Demon God Cult】’s assault, I have been become her guard and party mate, while the two are a part of our group from the Academy……I guess?」
「I don’t even understand what you are saying! Hahaha!!」
If I were a bystander, maybe I wouldn’t understand it either. But, should I just laugh it off too here?
Right after that, Helen who had been silent during our conversation suddenly spoke out towards Gassur.
「……You are the Guild Master of the Guild HQ, right?」
「Mu? Well, that’s who I am! All I do is exclusively training my muscles though!」
「I’m not sure that’s something to boast about.」
「……There’s one thing I want to ask. I want you to tell me based on the information the Guild has acquired. How long can… the Varshal Empire last against the Kaizer Empire?」
Her question took me by surprise, but Gassur didn’t seem that surprised as he answered calmly.
「Fumu…… Seems like you’re from the Varshal Empire, huh.」
「…………I’ll be frank. The Varshal Empire is as good as being under the Kaizer Empire now.」
「! That’s……how did it come to that?」
「It’s simple. It is well known that Varshal soldiers are strong and their Empress is a powerful individual, but……」
I’m sorry. This is all new to me.
「……No matter how strong their troops are or how powerful their Empress is, they have no chance to win against the Kaizer Empire who hold a more supreme military strength with all of their soldiers turned to be 『Transcendents』.」
「…………Varshal has a natural barrier like the 【Forest】 right next to this kingdom namely the 【Forest of Seal】. Even with that?」
「Did you hear me talking? The Kaizer Empire has grown strong enough to ignore this kingdom’s 【Forest】 and 【Sea】. That was why they could go and attack us. Same with the Varshal Kingdom. It only says how much off-the-scale their Status became.」
Helen fell silent after being slapped with those clear and plain words.
……I still don’t know why, but Helen is in a hurry to become stronger.
Is it for herself or is it for others……
As this awkward silence fell onto us, as though he was trying to cheer the atmosphere up, Gassur opened his mouth.
「For the time being, we should celebrate the fact we can meet again! And so, does she, along with the other girl, want to be registered to the Guild?」
「M-, me? W-, what do I do……」
Zora flinched and panicked when the topic was suddenly thrown at her, but Lutia looked at her with a smile.
「I think you only need to do what you want. You are already free to make your own decision after all, Zola.」
「M-, my own decision……」
After that, Zola took some time to weigh her options then finally gave a small nod.
「Umm……I want to be registered to the Guild!」
「……Me too, please. Seiichi-sensei did tell me that it’s more convenient to be registered than not……」
「Is that so! Well, we have to get the registration in order then! Eris-kun! Eris-kuun!!」
After Gassur called out towards the reception desk, Eris-san’s voice rang out.
「Yees! Please wait a moment!」
「……You heard her, so sorry but you gotta wait a bit. That being said……It was a surprise you’re with the Demon King’s daughter, but to think you’d be with a Varshal girl and a Naga woman……Quite the merry and diverse group you got there, huh.」
「T-, that’s true……」
This may come as late, but the group is consisted of a 『Monstrosity』, a Gorilla, the former Calamity, a Donkey, then an ex-assassin, and then Medusa and the daughter of the Demon King.……。
Aren’t only Al and Helen the only normal ones here? Hey, is this even normal? Try thinking about it calmly, isn’t this just too ridiculous? In the first place, it’s weird that we have a Gorilla and a Donkey as our members.
We finished introducing Helen and Zora before Eris-san arrived, and when she did arrive a little while after, seemingly hurried, she was properly dressed as a receptionist. Thank goodness.
「I’m sorry for keeping you waiting.」
「No problem. Also, long time no see.」
「Eris-san, it’s been a while~!」
「Have you been well?」
Receiving my, Saria, and Al’s greetings, Eris-san gave us a smile so adorable it was hard to think that this person was that SM Queen.
「Of course. I’m happy to see that everyone is doing well. Also, I see that there are some new faces around……」
「Ah, I want you to register this girl here and that girl there.」
「Understood. Then, the two of you, please come this way.」
After urging Zola and Helen, Eris-san completed the procedure on the spot then smiled.
「With this, Helen-san and Zora-san’s temporary registration has been completed.」
「Ah, come to think of it, there’s that huh……」
While Helen cocked her head curiously, I remembered that completing the procedure alone wouldn’t make you an adventurer.
「Yes. In this Guild, we have one examiner assigned to the temporary registered personnel so that we can measure their aptitude. Not every registree excels at combat, after all.」
「In that sense, aren’t you lucky then! We have Al-kun here. Let her supervise you.」
「Well, I don’t mind doing that. How bout you two?」
「Not like I have a problem with it.……」
「I-, I’m fine with it too!」
「Good. Let’s just get this exam over with, then. Oi, Gassur. You got any good quest for it?」
「Oh but of course! Just like the one when Seiichi-kun registered, a quest that’s almost impossible to fulfill by everyone here!」
「What kind of quest is that, oi!? Rather, that better not be something dangerous, right?」
「Aah, it’s not really the dangerous kind. However, as you’re well aware, Altoria-kun, even though these lads are top-notch in combat, they’re so completely useless at picking herbs and other odd jobs that it must be a talent on its own! Even if they apply for the quest, they’ll just neglect it as is!」
『Aw, you made us blush.』
「What’s there to blush about!?」
The guild members, who had been listening in on Gassur and Al’s conversation, gave us a thumbs up and a refreshing smile.
Aah…well, that’s true enough, the quests I did back then weren’t the type of quests these people here would take, except for maybe killing slimes…
The building demolition one might be a bit delicate, but I’m sure it would end with them tearing it down without a second thought like I did. For walking the dog……Perhaps they wouldn’t be able to do it for a different reason, since even if they wanted to take Milk-chan for a walk, their obvious pervert gear would make them be chased away before they could even enter Adrianna-san’s mansion. And the most dangerous of all would be the quest from the orphanage.
Especially that lolicon Walter-san, he’s the last person who can go near the orphanage! He’s really going to end up in the care of the soldiers.
And he’ll be a bad influence on the orphans too. Don’t ever let that pervert near them.
Perhaps the conversation reminded her of the orphanage, Saria smiled softly.
「I wonder if everyone doing well. I hope Claire-san is okay……」
「……Saria-oneechan, want to go there with Seiichi-oneechan again?」
「Ah, that’s right, we can!」
Olga-chan is right, it may be a good idea to show up at the orphanage later. I ran into so many rough incidents lately, I want some soothing. Kids are adorable. …… Don’t associate me with Walter-san, okay!?
Al looked around the guild members, let out a deep sigh, then scratched her head.
「Haah……Can’t be helped. It’s also convenient if I think of it as me doing their job. Oi, Seiichi!」
「I’m going to bring these two to complete their exam. You go and secure some room at the 『Tree of Peace』 Inn for us.」
「I leave that to you then. .……and for, um, the rooms’ allocation, well……Since we got me and Saria and all, you don’t need to bother separating us by gender and stuff.」
Al’s cheeks reddened as she hurriedly left the Guild HQ, dragging Helen and Zola with her.
W-, well, I was in the same room with Saria during my last stay in the 『Tree of Peace』, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but……
Seeing Al reacting like that makes me get embarrassed myself.
「……Altoria-san really has grown more lovely.」
「……Damn right you are. It’s hard to imagine, if you think how she was before.」
Gassur and Eris-san, who were also watching the scene unfold, spoke with a hearty tone.
We would be separated from Al and the other two here, and since I still need to get our lodgings, I’d have to go to the 『Tree of Peace』. However, before I could head there, Gassur stopped me in my tracks.
「Ah, that’s right, Seiichi-kun.」
「That girl……Helen-kun, was it? Didn’t she say she wants to get stronger?」
「Eh? Well, that’s true……」
「I’d like to make sure one thing; is she good at combat itself?」
「Let me see……」
Being asked by Gassur, I recalled the time when I fought with Helen.
She had a level of combat skill that was head and shoulders above her classmates, and, much like Rachel, she seemed to have studied some form of martial arts.
Other than that, considering the way she carried her feet when he fought and such, I could say that she was definitely strong.
Well, she is incomparably way stronger than me before I evolved, that’s for sure!
「I’ve heard that Helen is one of the strongest even in the Academy, I think she really is strong.」
Having confirmed my answer, Gassur fell into a thought.
As I wondered why he asked about it, Eris-san raised her voice as though she realized something.
「Ah……Gassur-san, don’t tell me, you’re going to tell them about that place?」
After Gassur nodded hesitantly, Eris-san told him off with a stern look on her face.
「Gassur-san. That’s too dangerous. You can’t send these girls there, they have only registered today……」
「However, as per the Guild’s rule, that place is supposed to be rank-free. We have no right to stop them from going.」
「Not to mention, they have Seiichi-kun and Altoria-kun. They will do fine. Right, Seiichi-kun!」
「I haven’t the foggiest what are you talking about, though?」
Don’t 『right?』 me when I don’t know anything about it. Just what are you two talking about?
As I scowled at him with my eyes half-squinted, Gassur heartily laughed, seeming to take no offense at all.
「Hahahaha! Sorry for that! No, you see, if that girl wants to get stronger, then I wish to provide her the place to get stronger.」
What is it?
Not only me, Saria and the others craned their necks too in puzzlement too. Gassur continued with a serious look on his face.
「Actually, in addition to the Kaizer Empire’s invasion, there was another incident that occured here in Terveil.」
「Yeah——The appearance of a Dungeon.」
We were all surprised by Gassur’s words.
「——And there they went.」
With Seiichi and his party returned to Terveil, began to start their new lives, Barnabas also had to think about what to do with himself.
「……I truly didn’t think that……this place would be gone. Just what will happen to this world, I wonder……」
Precisely because he stood at the peak of magicians, Barnabas had nothing to worry about if he were to consider becoming an adventurer or an official to some country somewhere. It only spoke just how alluring Barnabas’ strength was.
However, with so many countries falling into the hands of the Kaizer Empire and even the Guild not functioning properly, Barnabas couldn’t move as freely.
If he attempted to go to the Varshal Empire or Wimburg Kingdom, the Kaizer Empire would consider his strength as an obstacle and would increase their activity on those countries instead.
「……Well, this may be too late, though.」
Now that he received a one-sided verdict from Zakir, the commander of the Second Army, it was only natural to think that the Kaizer Empire had already seen him as a threat.
However, even before any of that, Barnabas himself had no intention to serve any country.
That was because his days leading the only neutral academy in the world……Barbadora magic Academy, where he had worked for many years, were more important than anything else to him.
As an elf who had lived for a long time, it was always a dazzling sight for him to watch the youngsters who would bear the future grow one after another.
「I never thought that even that future would be taken away from them like this……」
And yet, he might never get the chance to witness that dazzling sight again.
With the Kaizer Empire taking control of Barbadora Magic Academy, neutrality would disappear from the face of the world, and whatever left of it was either reverence or rebellion.
From this point on, both the youth of the Kaizer Empire and the youth of the countries ruled by it wouldn’t be able to choose their own future.
「To think that……my strength is just so powerless……」
For Barnabas who had been called as the «Saint of Magic» and reigned as the world’s foremost magician, it was the first time in his life that he learned how powerlessness felt.
That being said, nothing would be done if he kept dwelling in his thoughts.
Therefore, Barnabas, who had lived for many years and more, knew very well that he had to come to terms with his heart and look towards the future.
Still, he believed in it because he had witnessed in his life so many young seeds threading on their paths.
「From here and on, it is time for the young ones to make their own choices. I only have to believe that there will be light beyond the choice they make.」
After quietly sharing his thoughts with the Academy’s buildings, Barnabas began to move to a certain place.
It was the place where the apostles of the 【Demon God Cult】 that assaulted the Academy were being held, and the plan was to hand them to the Kaizer Empire by proxy of Zakir.
It was quite risky to handle Demiolos who had a method to restrain Barnabas in an instant and Angelea who had a long, nasty history of betrayal upon betrayal, but Demiolos had somehow lost his mighty strength while Angelea, perhaps due to the effect of the last betrayal she suffered, had shown quite an amiable attitude towards Barnabas and his people. So, they pose almost zero threat by now.
Although Barnabas was no longer the academy’s headmaster, this matter alone was something he had to deal with himself without the involvement of the Kaizer Empire.
「Their existence……is a problem beyond me and the Kaizer Empire, it’s a threat for the entire planet. And when they get what they wish, there will be nothing left but void.」
Barnabas descended the stairs that led to the basement, where only a few personnel in the school knew about it, and when he opened the iron door that stood in front of him without hesitation——
「——Dear me, seems like the master this place is back already.」
「Wha!? Who are you!?」
There, an apostle of the 【Demon God Cult】 ——Eutice, with his everlasting creepy smile, stood in front of the cells where Demiolos and Angelea were held captive.
「Who……in the world are you!? Get away from those cells right this instant……!!」
Without a moment’s delay, Barnabas activated his magic and tried to restrain Eutice.
Showcasing his strength as the 『Saint of Magic』, he invoked the highest grade light attribute magic Demiolos once used on him, 『Magic Sealing Light』.
The speed at which the magic was activated was incomparable to that of any ordinary magic user, and it wasn’t a speed any ordinary person could react to.
However, Eutice was no ordinary person.
「Quite the dangerous welcome you give me.」
When the 『Magic Sealing Light』 that was encircling on Eutice touched black haze oozing from his body, the magic disappeared from its place and somehow reappeared around Barnabas’ body.
「Wh-, what is——」
「Well then, be good and quiet, okay.」
The 『Magic Sealing Light』 left the control of Barnabas and, before long, went under Eutice’s hand. And with that, Barnabas was bound by the ring of light.
「Pick your opponent right, okay? 『Saint of Magic』.」
「Just……Just who the hell are you!?」
Barnabas asked desperately, his face painted with torment.
Eutice then deepened his smile and bowed politely.
「My, where was my courtesy. I am a 『Divine Apostle』 of the 【Demon God Cult】, Eutice the «Omnipresent». Pleased to make your acquaintances.」
Barnabas couldn’t understand almost every word of what this man said.
However, Eutice only smiled, showing no intention to speak more than that.
After which, his eyes suddenly opened wide as he gazed at Demiolos, the latter mumbling something inside his cell.
「How……did this possibly happen? There isn’t even a shadow left of the former Demiolos on him…… Not to mention, as Demon God-sama said, His divine protection is no longer felt from him……」
Next, he turned to Angelea, who was docile in her cell, and frowned again.
「……And why does this failure of an 『Apostle』 bear no injury whatsoever…… There are a lot of questions remained unanswered, and yet my 『Teleportation』, oddly enough, won’t activate towards anything related to their incident. It’s as if my power is successively blocked…… How very irritating.」
Despite the light tone that carried his words, Eutice’s thick bloodlust filled every corner of that room.
It was so strong that even Barnabas cowered from it.
After which, as though an idea popped in his mind, Eutice approached Barnabas.
「Well, if I can’t actually jump to that pivot of time, I’ll just peek into your memory of that time. It’s alright, it won’t take long. My consciousness will jump into your memory for a while, is all.」
「W-, what are you trying to do? S-, stop it!」
Barnabas frantically struggled to wiggle his body out of the 『Magic Sealing Light』, but Eutice grabbed him by the head.
「Well then, just what happened on the day Demiolos attacked this Academy……Let’s see all about it, shall we.」
Thus, as Eutice closed his eyes, Barnabas’ consciousness flew away with it.
They remained motionless for a while, but eventually, Eutice opened his eyes.
At the same time, Barnabas, whose memory was being probed around, was sweating profusely and breathing frantically.
「Haah haah haaah haaah!!」
There was a reason why Barnabas was so exhausted after having his memory peeked.
It was because the person who had been subjected to this particular ability of Eutice wasn’t simply recalling the event when it took place, but rather reliving the experience all over again.
In short, he had to relive the past when Demiolos had restrained his movements and tormented him.
——And he had to relive it not just once or twice.
In order for Eutice to learn the being that took Demiolos down, he peeked through that specific memory again and again and again.
As a result, Barnabas repeatedly experienced intense pain that ravaged his entire body and a feeling of powerlessness that prevented him from doing anything.
This ability would normally cause mental anguish at a level that would make any person crippled, but as Barnabas had lived through so many ages and was well-known as the 『Saint of Magic』, he could somehow withstand it, albeit barely.
However, Eutice paid no attention to the weakened Barnabas as he was looking at his own hands as if he couldn’t believe what was happening to him.
「Impossible……I can’t trace it back even through memories……? Just what exactly has happened……」
If he was serious, Eutice could exist in any and all space-time, dimension, and plane of existence in their past, present, and future all at the same time.
Precisely because he possessed this power that he was chosen as a 『Divine Apostle』 and was granted power that surpassed that.
However, when he was exposed to this oddity of a situation in which boasted power didn’t function, Eutice was astonished, angry, and……a little afraid.
Even so, as though he tried to escape from those emotions, he shook his head left and right.
「……I can’t be afraid, as that would be the same as admitting that Demon God-sama’s power cannot reach it. It’s alright. The only reason why I can’t see it is due to my own lack of power. Demon God-sama won’t even need to see this entity as He is able to erase it with just His mere thought. The only thing to do is to report Him about this……」
Eutice snapped his fingers once, and the black haze that previously extinguished Barnabas’ 『Magic Sealing Light』 appeared, enveloping Demiolos and Angelea in their cells.
「WH!? This is——」
「You are very valuable samples. Be at ease and let me carry you out.」
After that, Eutice snapped his fingers once again, and the figures of Demiolos and Angelea vanished into the depth of the black haze.
「!? Where did you take them!?」
「Do you think I’ll give you that information so easily?」
Whispered Eutice devilishly in the contorted face of Barnabas.
「It’s alright. That longing for power you hold within your heart……I’ve given it 【Seed】.」
「What are you——-」
「Well then, I bid you farewell——」
Before Barnabas could finish his question, Eutice snapped his fingers and disappeared, just like the other two Apostles.