A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 140

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 140. Tracing the Attack (4)



“Mmmm! Mmmmmmmm!”




Inside the room of a secluded, quiet inn.




Four masked people surrounded a single man. He was tied to a chair with rope, mouth gagged, and his eyes blindfolded with a piece of black cloth.




The masked people exchanged glances and the cloth blinding him came off. He was the Lord of Panier, Krue Panier. Once the gag was removed from his mouth, he started yelling loudly.




“You-You lot! What do you want! Why are you doing this to me?”




“It’s no use raising your voice. We’ve already invoked soundproofing magic.”




The masked man spoke with a voice distinctly recognizable if someone from Desir’s party were to hear it. It was Desir’s voice.


Desir had kidnapped Krue Panier.




“Who the hell sent you?! Which faction sent you?! Ah, if you’ve kidnapped me, then you must want to ransom me! If you let me go right this instant, I’ll pay you double of what you were offered. What do you think?”




“So noisy. You’re pretty talkative for someone who’s about to die soon.”




“A-Are you an assassin? Okay. I’ll pay you three times, no four times what you’ve been offered to kill me. No, I can give you up to five times the amount. That should be enough to satisfy you… ”




Desir cut him off.




“Unfortunately, we value honesty the most. No matter how much you offer us, the result won’t change.”




Once he finished speaking, Desir raised his hand. As he did, a strong chill started to form around Krue.



*Crack*




The air froze and started to crystalize. At the same time, Krue’s arms and legs started freezing up.




His face instantly drained of all color and he started yelling in desperation.




“N-No! I can’t die now! I can’t die yet! Please, please, just give me a bit of time! I’m begging you!”




“Is it because of your daughter?”




At Desir’s words, Krue’s eyes widened in surprise.




“How did you--!”




“How unfortunate for the soon to be orphan. I wonder if it’d be better to let her go with you, rather than have to live out the rest of her life suffering from the pain of losing her father?”


“W-Wait! I’m the only one you want! Leave my daughter out of this!”




“What a touching display of fatherly love.”




Krue clung desperately to Desir, covered in his own snot and tears. As expected, he was a father that loved his daughter dearly.




Desir’s heart was heavy, but he had no choice.




He feigned indifference as he spoke.




“From what I know, your daughter doesn’t have much time left to live anyway? She’s going to die soon, so instead of hurting her feelings again, wouldn’t it better for her to die with you?”




“No! My daughter won’t die! She’s going to live forever! So please spare my daughter.”




Krue had already lost his sense of judgement. He had even said


something that should have remained unspoken.




Everything was proceeding according to Desir’s plan.




“Forever? I’d like to hear more.”




“No, I-I mean… ”




Coming to his senses, Krue stammered. He realized that he had made a fatal mistake, but it was already too late.




Desir invoked First-Circle electric magic that traveled up his spine. Sparks flew.




“Aaarrggghh!”




A hideous scream filled the room.




“We don’t care about money, but when it comes to increasing life expectancy, we’re very interested.”



“Urghhh.”




Krue moaned in pain.




“Consider yourself lucky. We may even save your life.”




“You’ll save my l-life?”




Desir caught his attention before speaking solemnly.




“Of course. From now on we’ll be asking some questions and all you need to do is answer them sincerely. If we’re able to get some valuable information out of you, we’ll spare your life. If you value the information more than your daughter’s life, then you can keep your mouth shut.”




“I’ll tell you everything! Ask me anything!”




“What do you mean by your daughter living forever?”


“It’s through the creation of a Homunculus. And by applying that technology, they promised that even regular people like us would be able to live for an eternity!”




Starting with the existence of the Homunculus, Desir managed to get a hold of various pieces of information and confirm several suspicions that he had held for some time now.




These ranged from the fact that the Panier faction actively traded with the Hebrion Academy and had used this as cover to stop by the Desert Flower City on the way, allowing them to hand over the research material to Pureus without suspicion, to the fact there were other factions who were a part of the plan, responsible for supplying materials, to finally the fact that Colonel Darren was leading this effort and managing everyone.




“From what I know, there are people even more powerful than Colonel Darren who are involved.”




“Can’t you be a bit more specific? Who’s leading the plan?”




“I-I don’t know either! I was just following orders. I don’t know anything more than that!”


That was all he could find out. He wasn’t able to find out the identity of the organizer like he’d originally intended to.




‘Well, I wasn’t exactly expecting to discover their identity after finding one clue anyway.’




He had unveiled all he could from this source. Now, all that was left were the final questions. The most important ones.




“So, they’ve built a new lab and are in the process of creating a new Homunculus. How much longer will it take them to finish it?”




“I heard that they’re expecting to meet their original deadline. All the materials have been gathered, and the theory has been completed, so it shouldn’t be impossible.”




“When’s that?”




“Three days from now.”




The moment Krue finished talking, an alarm rang out.





[You’ve discovered the plans of the forces that supported Pureus Niftion.]




[When the original laboratory was destroyed, they poured their heart and souls into preparing to continue their original plan. Pureus has completed the theory of Homunculus creation, and there are sufficient materials as well. Unless there is a disturbance, they will complete the homunculus in three days.]




[You’ve found out the failure conditions of the eradication quest.]




[-If you are unable to interrupt their plans, the quest will be deemed as a failure.]




[Remove them to stop the completion of the homunculus.]




* * *




The newly built Homunculus research lab was built on land that had recently been acquired by the Panier faction. The lab


looked like a clean residence, no different to any other, but its identity was betrayed by the large amounts of mana that Desir could feel permeating the area.




‘So we fail the Shadow World the moment the Homunculus is completed.’




Desir felt his blood run cold.




If they hadn’t found out where the research was taking place, they would have failed the quest without even getting a chance to react.




Failing to clear a Shadow World meant immediate death.




As he came back to his senses, he reproached himself for looking down on this Shadow World. No matter how easy the main quest was, they were in a Level 3 Shadow World after all. It was not something that could be looked down upon.




‘We almost died in vain.’


According to Krue, the residence-like appearance was just a cover, and the Homunculus was being created inside the building at this very moment.




‘A rather high level of defensive magic has been set up.’




After lifting the defensive magic and entering, Desir confirmed Krue’s information.




The inside of the residence was totally unlike a normal home, more like a laboratory. The atmosphere was extremely grotesque.




A massive test tube that held an unknown liquid was on display front-and-center. Inside it was deformed bits of what vaguely resembled a human figure.




Ordinary humans had been contained in other tubes on the sides of the room.




“How cruel.”


“…”




In the end, the base that they required to create Homunculus were still humans after all. All research into Homunculus had an extremely unethical side to it.




Krue had been aware of this, but chose to stay silent and support it. Desir’s torturing had also served to condemn him for his portion of the blame.




‘I’d been expecting this to some extent since I heard they’ve been experimenting on humans, but even so, this is too much.’




For them to have gone all-in and invested so much in this particular experiment and lab was a clear sign that they were confident that their research would succeed this time.




If things proceeded according to the quest guideline, completion of the Homunculus was only a matter of time.




Even though it was built after Pureus’ lab got destroyed, the fact that they’d already managed to upgrade their facilities to this level gave Desir’s party an estimate of how strong their


enemies were.




“So-Someone’s still alive!”




Pram yelled. Just like he said, a girl inside a tank was staring at them with her eyes wide open.




She seemed to be a Third-Circle magician and it was apparent that she had already gone through multiple surgeries.




What looked like fish scales had sprouted from her back and shoulders.




“Should we smash the glass?”




“No, we don’t know what the case is for, so opening it right away is too dangerous. We have to check it first… ”




“W-Wait! The girl, she’s saying something… ”




The girl opened and closed her mouth. Air bubbles rose.





She only said one thing.




Kill me.




As if the temperature of the room had plummeted, Desir’s party members all shivered. The excitement in finding a survivor turned into something more devastating than anything and it struck them deeply.




Adjest slowly readied her sword.




“… Desir.”




“Sure.”




Desir nodded. Pram and Romantica turned away. Adjest thrust her sword into the tank with a single strike.





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