A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 152

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel



Chapter 152. The King of Puppets (3)



Kei looked very pale from excessive blood loss, but his fighting spirit appeared no different from the start of the battle.




Desir instinctively felt that he could not afford to lower his guard around this newly unveiled Kei for just a second, even if he was an opponent that had lost an arm.




Desir took a step back and threw out his accusation in an attempt to buy time to make sense of these circumstances.




“… … … you’ve been looking for the Homunculus from the start.”




Something just wasn’t right about the way these events had unfolded. It was too unnatural. The biggest red flag was probably the fact that Kei got angry at the death of his men, but remained very calm when the King he had served for a long time was found dead.




All he did was fix up the body without any words of mourning. Now that he thought about this again, it was hard to


see Kei acting out of a sense of loyalty.




‘But how does he know about the Homunculus?’




Kei was ostracized within the Magic Kingdom, failing to hold any kind of significant position and being well and truly out-of-the-know when it came to schemes like this Homunculus creation.




Desir had confirmed through Totrina, the magician he tortured earlier, that Kei had not received any information about the research. It was for this reason that Desir had been willing to trust Kei to such an extent. He surely wouldn’t know anything about Homunculus.




At that time, a memory suddenly came to the forefront of Desir’s mind.




[As you are a mercenary hired by Kei Hazmaryoon, you must escort Aldin Sepius. Aldin Sepius has a very important clue that is needed to achieve Kei Hazmaryoon’s goal. The life and death of Aldin Sepius will have a significant impact on the quest process.]


“Aldin Sepius… ”




Desir realized what information Aldin had that Kei needed.




Aldin Sepius had something to do with alchemy. If he had handed over information pertaining to the Homunculus to Kei, then it meant he was not any ordinary alchemist. It meant he was an alchemist who matched Pureus in terms of skill and blatant disregard for natural order.




[You’ve correctly guessed Aldin Sepius’s role in this quest line. He is one of the first people to conceive of Homunculus creation. He went mad after using his own body to experiment on, miraculously conducting many experiments and pioneering an entire field of alchemy on his own. Within his tortured mind is valuable information about his life’s work, especially in the field of Homunculus creation. He is guarded by the Sword Master, Kei Hazmaryoon, and has provided him all of the information he is in possession of.]




Desir’s guess was correct. It was unclear how he obtained the information from the insane Aldin, but it became clear that the information truly did originate from Aldin.


With his desire to obtain possession of a Homunculus, Desir could tell that Kei was trying to achieve something using Aldin’s knowledge.




*Crash*




The walls of the ceiling collapsed and dust rose. This place was collapsing entirely. It was now a complete ruin.




“… … … … ”




Sensing the strange atmosphere, Pram, Romantica and Adjest began to move.




There was a full-blown confrontation between Kei and Desir’s party.




While there were far more people in Desir’s party, Kei was not pressured or pushed back at all.




A man referred to as the Sword Master of his generation had the power to overwhelm his surroundings simply by standing


there.




Kei spoke to Desir in a matter-of-fact manner.




“My request is now concluded. Of course, I will pay you the promised amount. I’ll make sure to take care of that.”




If Desir’s party were real mercenaries, there would have been no reason to stand up against Kei, but they were not mercenaries in the real sense of the word.




If they didn’t destroy the Homunculus, this Shadow Realm wouldn’t end. Even if they needed to make an enemy out of a Sword Master, they had no room to retreat. As Desir signaled his party members, they nodded with determination.




Kei, who figured out what the action meant, could help expressing something akin to frustration.




“I don’t understand why you’re taking this form of action. If you want to interrupt me, I’ll knock you down.”


An aura rose around Kei’s sword. After seeing this, Desir and his party members began to feel nervous.




‘So we have no choice but to fight… ’




Desir had come to the conclusion that the quest for this Shadow World was to prevent even the slightest possibility of this Homunculus being studied. If so, unless Kei gave up on the Homunculus, they had the unenviable task of knocking him down.




Fortunately, Kei’s aura was somewhat dimmer than before and had a somewhat hazy form; it was certainly a lot less substantial than usual.




It was obvious that he had considerably taxed his strength in the battle with the Prophet.




‘I don’t think that’s going to make it much easier for us to win, but… ’




Desir confirmed the status of his party members. They had also fought all this time as they made their way here and had


long reached their limits since facing the Homunculus.




As Desir let down his guard just for a brief moment while grasping the situation, Kei took advantage of this opening and charged forward.




Romantica fired a spell as soon as Kei moved, not failing to miss Kei’s sudden movement. Her shot flew precisely at Kei’s forehead.




*Kaang*




Kei lifted his sword and simply deflected the high-speed attack. This was a feat that required superhuman reflexes.




Kei kicked against the ground once again. In a mere instant, the distance between Kei and Desir narrowed. Desir and Kei’s eyes met.




He was aiming for the commander, Desir. Pram hurriedly wielded a sword and blocked Kei’s approach.


“Ooop!”




As soon as Pram faced Kei’s aura-infused sword, Pram felt the extreme pain of the muscles in his arm tearing as they reached their limit. He barely managed to hold Kei back, letting loose a scream that pierced the otherwise silent atmosphere.




If Kei’s body had been in prime condition, Pram would have been torn asunder with that sword strike.




Just one attack was all it took for Pram to realize that he could not face Kei’s sword directly in a frontal attack.




‘But I can’t retreat.’




Behind Pram, there was Desir. He decided not to send Kei to Desir, even if he ended up cut apart.




Pram used all the skills he had mastered, and poured them into a concentrated volley at Kei.




*Kagang*





*Kagagang*




Pram’s swordsmanship relied heavily on speed over might.




Pram had always possessed considerable talent, and that talent was heightened and honed much faster through meeting Desir.




However, the talent he possessed fell short of Kei; he casually defended Pram’s all out attack. Pram had launched a volley of attacks at tremendous speed; but Kei threw him off balance in a simple counter-movement that felt almost reflex-like. While his movement looked incredibly simple, it was anything but that. To the trained eye, this was an inhuman move.




“Urgh!”




Pram felt like it was a miracle in itself that he was even able to block just one of Kei’s attacks, let alone two.




Each time he blocked an attack, Pram had to commit his utter


best… no, beyond his best. However, eventually an unguarded point was finally revealed.




*Kaang*




Pram was pushed back by a heavy blow and Kei lowered his posture while pulling his sword back to perform a finishing move.




At that moment, Pram felt his body split into two. His intuition told him that this was not just a hypothetical, but an inevitable situation he would find himself witnessing in just a moment.




A strike that was impossible for him to deal with.




Pram judged that no matter what he did, he could not confront this attack with his own strength.




As if the very heavens themselves had seen the dire circumstances he was in, two spells streaked past him to interrupt Kei’s attack. They were from Desir and Romantica.



[Burst Fire]




[Wind Bullet]




*Bang*




The huge explosion caused smoke to spread out in all directions.




Adjest, who had recovered a little bit of mana while Pram endured, dashed into the smoke.




After a while, flames erupted among the hazy-looking figures between the smoke.




As the gale that followed the trajectory of a sword parted the smoke, the scene of an equally determined Adjest and Kei locked in mortal combat were revealed.




Adjest was being pushed back. With just sword skills alone, unable to use magic to reinforce her sword and body, she was


merely a Knight Class swordsmen. She stood her ground against the frantic Kei, barely defending herself.




In the meantime, Pram, who took a short breather, poured all of his strength into the hand he tightly gripped his sword with, and drew back his arm as if drawing a bow. A flurry of stabs washed over Kei. These stabs were so fast, they looked like beams of light.




*Kagagagaaang*




It was in this manner, someone tying up Kei’s footwork while another took on Kei head-on, that the tide of battle gradually started to turn in favour of Desir’s party.




Desir’s party had exceeded Kei’s expectations. The situation was starting to get difficult now. Kei, who made this snap decision, suddenly stepped back and sheathed his sword.




Desir knew well that he couldn’t afford to let off the pressure and give him a break, but none of Desir’s party could afford to chase him.


A lull in battle naturally formed.




After catching his breath, Kei was the first one to break the silence.




“Did you guys get a request from someone else? I’ll pay more than that, so please withdraw at this point.”




Kei seemed to think that the Desir’s party was obstructing his work at someone else’s request, since they were mercenaries after all.




Desir replied, shaking his head.




“We don’t need money. Of course, we were not given a request by anyone else.”




Kei shouted in a fit of rage.




“Then why… !”


“Then why do you need a Homunculus? You know better than anyone else what this has caused.”




Kei hesitated for a moment before breathing deeply, sighing, and then opening his mouth in response.




“It’s to change this world in which people are discriminated against due to magical ability.”




Desir’s party, who had managed to get this far, struggling through various situations along the way, could easily understand the meaning of Kei’s words.




“Magic is a privilege that is only afforded to a small number of people. No matter how hard they try, it’s impossible for those who aren’t blessed by mana to exceed their limits.”




Unlike swordsmanship, as Kei had pointed out, magic was an area of ability where one’s limits are set at birth.




Desir knew this more than anyone else.


When he was born, his body failed to accept mana properly, so he was only able to reach the First-Circle. He could only achieve a mana capacity that barely qualified as Third-Circle by relying on the artifact ‘Toa’s Sentence,’ even while experiencing a life and death crisis in his previous life.




The current Desir could be described as one that had exceeded their predetermined limits. However, in reality, this was all due to the coincidence of him becoming a returner. If that hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t have had a chance to break through the wall known as aptitude either.




“I won’t deny that magic is great. I also know that it has contributed greatly to the development of civilization. And I am also aware that magicians are going to play a bigger role in the future.”




Kei started speaking in a gentle tone, but as he continued, he gradually became more and more furious.




“But as the continent is developed by such magic, those who have not been blessed with mana will continue to be ostracized! It’s obvious in this Magical Kingdom. Before too long, everything in the world will be decided by one’s talent in magic. And I’m not going to let that happen.”




Kei seemed to believe that the existence of magic was the main culprit behind the Magic Kingdom’s current situation.




“I will erase the existence of magic in this world.”






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