A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 161

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 161. Going to War (1)



After  forming  an  alliance  with  the  barbarians,  the  Starling Party descended Mt. Calcarus with a light heart. Luckily, unlike when  they  were  climbing  the  mountains,  they  were  able  to descend easily with Yuria’s guidance.




“This is the city you were talking about.”




The city that they arrived at per Desir’s request was Pirium, a barbarian city located below Mt. Calcarus.




It   was   an   area   open   to   other   countries   as   well,   which explained the numerous foreigners that mingled in the streets.




The barbarians sold goods like durable stone handicrafts and ores of high quality, so many merchants frequented the area.




“Thank you for the guidance, Yuria.”




“Then I’ll see you later on the battlefield.”



Yuria bid the Starling Party farewell and went her own way.




Pram examined the city as he spoke.




“But unlike what we’ve heard, it’s not that lively.”




As he said, the mood was oddly somber. This was another side effect of the war between the Allied Forces and the Outsiders.




“Go ahead, rest at the inn. I’ll go report on the completion of our mission.”




The  place  Desir  headed  to  was  the  embassy  of  the  Hebrion Empire. As the only barbarian city open to other countries, each nation had their own embassy within the city walls.




At  the  embassy,  Desir  verified  his  identity  with  his  gold plaque and used the embassy’s communication device to contact Hersaint-Blanc.




“Seven  thousand  barbarian  soldiers  that  can  be  mobilized.


And all of them are skilled enough to be knights?”




The news of their successful alliance with the barbarians had excited Hersaint-Blanc greatly.




“That much power alone is equivalent to an entire flank of the troops provided by the Western Kingdom Union. It’s beyond my expectations.”




“How is the current situation?”




At Desir’s question, Hersaint-Blanc murmured to himself.




“I can’t say it’s too good.”




He continued speaking.




After  the  battle  between  Zod  Exarion  and  the  homunculus, now known as the Battle of Lagrium, the commanders of the Allied Forces determined that the war would enter a lull.


Everything seemed to point to that being the truth.  That is, until the Outsiders took advantage of the situation and launched an unexpected attack on the Allied Forces.




Normally,  to  launch  such  an  attack  while  being  so  severely outnumbered, would be to hand victory to your enemies.  But the reason they carried out the attack was simple.




The homunculus had returned to the front lines.




“It went exactly according to your party’s observations in the Shadow World. The homunculus’s recovery was truly extraordinary. It should have been completely destroyed during its  fight  against  the  Master  of  the  Magic  Tower,  yet  it  had already made a full recovery and rejoined the front lines.”




Desir’s   face   hardened. The   homunculus’s   extraordinary regenerative power was something he was already well  aware of.




However, its speed was beyond his expectation.




“Having  experienced  the  full  brunt  of  its  power  once,  the


Allied Forces have established a Special Forces unit to eliminate it, but they’re already busy just trying to keep it in check.”




“It would be hard to stand up to it unless we’re as strong as Zod.”




The mere presence of the homunculus was enough to force opponents to change their strategy, and it alone had the power to turn the situation upside down.




However,  the  homunculus  was  by  no  means  an  invincible creature.




The  Allied  Forces,  composed  of  the  strongest  forces  on  the continent,  weren’t  weak  enough  to  collapse  due  to  a  single being.




Confirming that the alliance between the Western Kingdom Union  and  Hebrion  Empire  was  progressing  rather  smoothly, Desir determined that the current situation wasn’t too terrible.




“You should hurry up and take your party and join the ranks at the Lagrium Plains as well.”





“I understand.”




*Beep*




With that, their communications ended.




Having  finished  his  report,  Desir  located  the  inn  using  his communication bracelet and left the embassy.




When  he  arrived  at  the  inn,  Pram  was  waiting  for  him outside.




“How was it?”




Seeing Desir approach, Pram ran up to him like a puppy and greeted him. Seeing Pram act cutely like always, Desir let out a smile, but it was no time to be chatting casually.




“Pram, could you call the others over?”


Sensing the concern within Desir’s tone, Pram hurried to call the other party members over.




Once everyone had arrived, Desir started recounting the news he had heard; that the situation wasn’t very good, and that the Starling Party would have to join the war effort.




When  he  finished  talking,  the  air  felt  heavy  with  tension. Feeling  anxious  was  only  natural.   Regardless  of  how  many battles they had undertaken in the Shadow Worlds, the weight that the term ‘war’ held was something entirely different.




But no one was scared.




Riled up, Romantica spoke energetically.




“Wars disgust me, but if my opponents are the Outsiders, I’ll do   whatever   I   need   to.   I   won’t   let   them   get   away   with something like ‘that’ again.”




Desir,  Adjest,  and  Pram  knew  immediately  what  she  was talking about.



Last   summer,   the   Outsiders   had   committed   an   act   of terrorism on a grand scale in Deltaheim, the capital of Prillecha. Romantica’s hometown.




As a result, the city had been destroyed, and many lives had been lost.  The shock she must have felt at the time would be indescribable.




Adjest agreed with her opinion.




“The Outsiders’ indiscriminative terrorism is unforgivable.”




The Outsiders had also manipulated the Hebrion Academy’s Party  Competition,  aiming  to  eliminate  as  many  parties  as possible, each filled with all of the young promising talent in the Empire.  Through that incident, several  students had lost their lives.




They  were  more  than  likely  to  continue  carrying  out  such indiscriminate acts of terrorism.




Pram too had something to add.




“If we’re able to prevent future damage by stopping them, I think that we must fight too.”




Everyone  was  in  agreement.  Then  there  was  no  reason  to hesitate.




Desir nodded.




“Let’s end this war as soon as possible.”




* * *




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A bathtub filled to the brim with red blood.




Walls of black blood, blood that had long since dried and lost its original color.


In the room decorated with splattered red and black blood, a man sat in the corner.




He had a gag in his mouth, and his limbs were tied down with ropes to prevent him from moving.




His eyes were full of fear.




And next to him stood a woman wearing a mask embellished with feathers and jewels.  The mask covered more than half of her face, yet her beauty still spilled out.




Unlike  the  man  who  was  frozen  in  terror,  she  was  far  too calm.  Despite  being  in  a  room  that  would  scare  anyone,  she looked comfortable, as if she were at home.




Feather Mask smiled lightly as she approached the man. Her smiling lips overflowed with sensuality.




“How long will you hold out?”




*Splatter*





Blood gushed out from the slit drawn on the man’s throat. He widened his eyes in agony.




“Mmph! MMMHPHH!”




“Don’t get too scared. I won’t kill you that easily.”




In  Feather  Mask’s  hand  was  a  dagger  dripping  with  fresh blood. She laughed as the man struggled.




“No need to think of it as a waste. Your blood will  be valued greatly.”




Feather  Mask  bent  down  and  licked  the  blood  that  flowed down the man’s throat.




“MMMMPH!”




Her  lips,  once  very  captivating,  terrified  him  as  they  were stained with blood.




The man only stopped breathing once he had bled so much that the carpet couldn’t soak up any more.




Her eyes that had been filled with so much excitement just moments ago went dull.




As she wallowed in disappointment, someone opened the door and entered.




It was a man with a muscular body.




He was Mountain King Raden, the leader of a group of bandits that had conquered the five mountains in the central area of the continent. A man who had reached Bishop Class.




The moment he saw the state of the room, he frowned.




“I got a call from Crow Mask.”




“You did?”




Feather Mask followed Raden to the hallway.




They  were  located  in  an  ancient  castle  that  was  originally built by the previous kingdom to fight against the barbarians.




As  the  war  ended,  the  castle  became  useless  and  was  now being used as the Outsiders’ base.




It  was  when  they  had  been  walking  for  some  time,  Raden looked  at  the  bloodstain  on  Feather  Mask’s  shoulder  as  he spoke.




“How about you stop that disgusting hobby of yours?”




“Why?  It’s  just  some  light  entertainment  before  the  battle begins. Can’t I even do that?”




“You’re going too far. I’m tired of sacrificing my men for that perverted hobby of yours.”




Forty-five people.





That was the number of people Feather Mask had sacrificed in the past week.




In order to satisfy her needs, Raden had handed her captives, deserted underlings, and even innocent men when that wasn’t enough.




Feather Mask’s brutal indulgences were enough to make even her allies sick.




“Don’t you dare insult my artwork.”




“Art? Please, give me-”




In  an  instant,  the  nigh-unbearable  thick  scent  of  bloodlust wafted off from Feather Mask.




Raden felt as though his whole body was being squeezed.




Beneath  the  mask  decorated  with  feathers  and  jewels,  an


alluring smile blossomed.




“You should be grateful  I’m not feasting on you.  If I didn’t restrain myself to these small-scale splurges, I would’ve woven your  intestines  into  ribbons  and  decorated  this  castle  weeks ago.”




Feather Mask turned back to the front.




*Thud*




Once the pressure around his body ceased, he subconsciously fell to his knees.




Feather Mask ignored Raden and climbed the stairs as he still lay   on   the   floor   in   shock,   his   body   unresponsive   after experiencing the skill difference between them first-hand.




A communication came through, connecting to one of the top rooms of the castle.




[-How’s life in that place?]





It was Crow Mask’s voice.




“How much longer do we have to do this? Holding the fort is suffocating. This job doesn’t suit me at all.”




[-It’ll be over soon. Are things going as planned?]




“They’re all  moving like you said.  There’s nothing that will interfere with the plan.”




Crow Mask’s plan was extensive yet detailed.  Feather Mask admitted  that  his  resourcefulness  was  a  trait  that  required acknowledgement.




“But you wouldn’t call just to tell me that, so why did you call me this time?”




[-To tell you that now that the time is ripe, you’re free to run wild.]


At those words, Feather Mask’s lips drew into a thin line.




“I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”






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