A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 224

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 224. A Subsurface War (1)



The Starling Party ran along the halls of the Royal Palace.




They were going to leave the palace and head straight to the tower.




Just as Desir was limited in how many people he could move, so was the Kingdom of Divide. If they moved all their soldiers from the Great Council to defend the tower, they would show their hand. If the security of one tower took precedence over the lives of all the leaders of the Western Kingdom Union, just what was happening in it?




No matter how much of the Kingdom of Divide they had taken control over, the Outsiders still had to be careful in what they revealed while working out in the open.




They had to avoid risking the exposure of the tower at all costs.




‘Both sides can’t afford being detected by others.’



This was a fierce battle that had to be waged under calm water.




A subsurface war.




As they sped up their movement, Romantica noticed something.




“It’s the knights, Desir.”




At that moment, Desir stopped walking. They all stopped in unison and peered around the corner.




They saw a group of knights patrolling the interior of the Royal Palace.




*Step*




*Step*


*Step*




There were quite a few knights in the Divide Palace, patrolling the surrounding area thoroughly. The patrol route had been planned so thoroughly that there was no blind spot to be seen.




Desir’s party was not going to have any luck attempting to just stroll through this.




“We’re going to need to fake them out. Let me handle it.”




Activating camouflage magic was no easy task. An assortment of detection magic had been installed everywhere in this palace. On top of that, a device had been installed to strongly interfere with the formation of the magic by unauthorized magicians. It was practically impossible for any of the Starling Party to invoke a spell.




‘It’s not as good as that defensive magic I saw in Leonhardt Palace, but it’s still pretty good.’




Desir, who briefly evaluated the defensive measures deployed in the royal palace, closed his eyes and touched the floor.





A bluish mana stretched out of him and began to permeate the floor of the Royal Palace. The extended mana soon began to interfere with the huge magic formation that had been set up. It dug through every crevice, worming its way deeper inside.




Carefully reading the Royal Palace’s magic formulas was not a difficult task for Desir.




The formulas installed were frequently maintained by the magician who set them up. However, while such a formation was the latest and greatest in terms of magical technology when it was installed, a decade later it had been thoroughly studied and could only be considered a relic of the past. This was true even without Desir’s extensive knowledge of the future developments in the field from his previous life.




“Release.”




*Whoong*




There was a very faint ringing noise.


The palace’s protective magic, which had been fitted to protect every nook and cranny, had now been lifted.




His extreme inverting had erased the formula without leaving behind any trace that a typical inversion would. Apart from a small resonating sound, there was no trace left behind at all.




“Seriously? Was it that easy?”




“I think your inversion speed is even faster than before!”




The party rejoiced with the troublesome matter resolved, but Desir didn’t look happy in the slightest.




“What’s the matter, Desir?”




“… something is weird.”




In the process of inverting the spell, Desir was able to identify the magic installed in the Royal Palace.


No spell was big enough to cover the entire palace. Instead, the same defensive spell would be applied to many rooms individually, all chained back and controlled from a central area. This would mean that the entire palace was effectively protected by the one spell, and it was impossible to defend certain areas more heavily than others. If you wanted the spell parts to combine, each of them would need to be homogenous. What Desir had inverted was certainly a spell worthy of defending a royal palace. Even Desir had to resolve himself to expend a bit of effort in inverting it.




But there was one part of the palace that was different.




“One part of the Royal Palace is protected by a completely different defensive magic.”




The center of the palace. Underground, to be precise.




Defending it was a high level of defensive magic that even Desir could not easily invert.




The defensive capabilities of it were conspicuous enough, but the feel of mana powering it was unusual as well.


“No magician present in Divide would be capable of arranging a defensive spell of this level.”




It was now clear to Desir that the Outsiders had seized control over the entire Royal Palace.




If they went underground, perhaps they could obtain additional clues.




“What shall we do, Desir?”




“… … Let’s look into it later. Right now, rescuing Swan is our first priority.”




Desir made his priorities clear. They could visit the palace again later.




They began to move with one piece of information in mind.




[Invisible]


[Quiet Move]




Transparency and muffling magic.




Romantica and Adjest each cast the spells on themselves, and Desir cast spells for both himself and Pram.




After that, everything proceeded smoothly. The level of camouflage magic deployed by Desir was extremely high, and it was impossible for ordinary knights to notice any sign of them.




Having already figured out the structure of the Royal Palace, it was easy to cross the corridors without slowing down, allowing them to leave through the back gate and reenter the city.




Countless people and carriages were coming and going.




This is a rather busy street.




They moved into the alley to avoid people’s gazes. It was a place filled with a nasty stench.



Unlike its appearance, which seemed rather neat and well-maintained, this back alley was very messy and the structure of it was very complex.




The party ran through the back alley. The unmaintained road was bumpy, and dirt splashed out of the potholes they stumbled through.




‘We have to go fast.’




His mind was racing. They couldn’t afford to lose Swan here.




In the first place, the distance between the Royal Palace and the tower was not far. If they rushed, they could easily get there in ten minutes.




“… … Wait a minute, Desir!”




Adjest’s voice reached Desir.




[Ice Bolt]




An arrow of ice unfolded and shot forward. The fierce rush of magic brushed against something.




Time felt as if it had slowed to a crawl.




*Smash*




An array of explosions sounded in all directions as hundreds of wires that lay concealed on the ground rose up and smashed the roads and buildings.




If he had continued on without slowing down, he would have been torn apart into a bloody pulp.




The reason why these traps were set up was simple. They were placed to ambush the enemy.




[Sigh of Kizard]




Adjest immediately deployed simple, but effective, defensive


magic.




*Boom*




A powerful explosion brushed against the shield of ice.




That was just the beginning.




A huge number of daggers flew at them from all sides. Each dagger appeared to be enchanted with a reasonably strong explosive spell. They each exploded as soon as they hit, scattering debris everywhere.




*Boom*




*Boom*




Amidst of the hectic explosions, Romantica shouted.




“Why are they attacking us?! Who is doing this?”



“It’s probably the Outsiders.”




It was a certainty, not mere speculation.




As long as he was inside the Kingdom of Divide, he had resolved himself to be ready for attacks at any time. Furthermore, since they were separated from the other forces, this was the best time for them to attack.




‘I didn’t expect them to lay a trap like this.’




Things didn’t seem to work out that easily though.




“Let’s knock them down and head to the tower as soon as possible.”




Desir shouted as he invoked defensive magic once again.




The explosions lasted for a long time.


Desir had to hurriedly deploy several defensive spells. The Third-Circle defensive magic didn’t last more than a few seconds at a time.




The seemingly endless explosions gradually stopped after over a minute of sustained bombardment.




The alley, once dirty but otherwise recognizable as one, had been caught up in the explosions and was now thoroughly destroyed. Broken bricks continued to rain down on the street and the debris of what was once buildings had been scattered everywhere, reduced to mere shrapnel flung about by the explosions. Acrid black smoke rose from the wreckage.




“Hmm… I didn’t expect you to survive that.”




A voice emanated.




At the same time, magic formations were arranged, pointing at the roof, in front of Romantica.




[Avarosa Storm]



A fierce storm skimmed off the smoke from the streets in an instant. The storm blew away what was left of the ceiling that voice seemed to come from. The remaining portion of the building collapsed immediately.




“As I’ve heard.”




But the voice was not embarrassed in the slightest. Appearing in the collapsed building was a man in a pierrot mask. Contrary to his bizarre pierrot mask, the voice seemed to belong to an ordinary man.




Desir looked around.




“… Twenty.”




The moment they realized that they had been besieged by Pierrot Mask and about twenty enemies, the Starling Party stood back to back with each other, guarding against attacks from all angles.




Desir opened his mouth.




“Keep your guard up. This situation is bad.”




The road was narrow due to the maze-like structure of this part of town. There was little room for four people to move abreast.




“Why have you sent assassins after us?”




“Don’t try to stall. You know why we’re here anyway.”




He spoke the truth. The man moved exaggeratedly as if he had nothing further to talk about.




“You need to die here.”




The assassins circling the Starling Party all darted forward. Pram and Adjest pulled out their swords and confronted the enemies pouring in from all sides.




The enemies broke into two groups, roughly half of their


forces in each. The first half fought in-person, limiting the party’s movements in a direct clash. At the same time, the rest fired long-range attacks at the gaps that opened in their defenses..




The party also split in half to deal with them. While Pram and Adjest faced enemies approaching them head-on, Romantica and Desir deployed magic against the other enemies in the rear.




[Lightning Strike]




A simple lightning spell.




The spell made direct contact with an enemy that was standing a fair distance away on a roof. But the enemy who had the high ground, quickly drew a dagger and struck down Desir’s spell with lightning quick reflexes.




The sword was tinged blue, indicating the wielder's capabilities as a swordsman.




“A strong swordsman, at least Rook Class… ! I can’t believe there’s an Outsider with such a high level of swordsmanship!”





It may be another executive member of the Outsiders who had not revealed themselves yet.




‘I wanted to conserve mana as much as possible until I joined up with Swan, but it can’t be helped.’




Desir had no choice but to invoke strong magic in this battle. But at that moment, Desir witnessed the true terror of the enemy he was now facing.




*Boom*




There was a powerful explosion amidst the flurry of attacks he had last seen being exchanged by Pram. Pram, who was facing off against an enemy wielding a sword, hadn’t managed to dodge it unscathed and was caught up in the blast.




“Are you all right, Pram?”




Romantica ran straight to him.


“Okay. I’m okay. I think I somehow managed to stop it.”




Pram stood up using his rapier as support while reassuring Romantica.




The Clothes Line had surely played a minor part in him surviving that, but its defense was no longer as effective as it had been in prior battles, especially against enemies of this caliber.




Having entered the Bishop Class, Pram managed to withstand the shock by gathering his aura and spreading it across his body in time.




On the other hand, however, the soldier who faced the same explosion was not so safe. Despite attempting to resist with their aura, the explosion was so strong that they died instantly on the spot.




The Starling Party was astounded by this result.




‘You’re using spells like that even though everyone is fighting in close proximity? Don’t they care about harming their


colleagues?’




It was no easy task to defend against a magical explosion. Especially when one was not expecting it. However, the enemies continued to attack mercilessly regardless of what damage they inflicted on each other.




This was quite different from the enemies that the Starling Party had fought so far. Besides all else, these swordsmen were no ordinary people. They all possessed incredible power.




‘It’s… tricky to confront enemies like this.’




While being locked in fierce combat with one enemy, another attack would fly in from an unexpected direction. It felt like every attack they launched was a desperate attempt to kill them, whether or not their allies died in the process.




They could manage if they were competing in swordsmanship alone, but this battle became rather tricky when factoring in such tenebrous tactics.




“Time… … is running out… ”





It was taking time to deal with them. Time they could ill afford.




Just then, Adjest spoke up.




“We’ll take care of them. You’d better go on first, Desir.”




“Are you sure you can deal with them?”




“If I use the Center of Ice, I will be able to withstand it somehow.”




Adjest gestured at her sword, which had not yet been liberated from its sheath. After confirming her intentions, Desir began to invoke a powerful spell.




“I’ll be going ahead.”




[Fire Storm]


There was a huge explosion of flames.




More than three assassins were killed together. Then, for a moment, there was an opening in their encircling net. Desir dashed forward and escaped through that spot.




Through the broken roof above him, Desir could make out the form of a tower in the distance.






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