A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special - Chapter 275

 

A Returner’s Magic Should Be Special Novel


Chapter 275. Collapse (1)



On the 39th floor of the Magic Tower, there was a room filled with numerous magic devices and one-of-a-kind rare artifacts. It was the best laboratory in the world, one that no other institution could hope to compete with. It was Desir’s lab, personally made by Zod Exarion.




It was no surprise that Desir could be found within his lab. At the moment, he was examining a large glass mirror, positioned directly in the center of the chamber. It was The Mirror That Holds Shadows, just one of many S-tier artifacts that Skull Mask possessed. As he approached the front of it and placed his hand on it, the artifact whirred to life. The regular glass mirror was replaced by a dark screen, blank except for an image of the continent.




Quickly after, countless characters clouded the display. It was detailed information about every single event occurring on the continent.*Woo-Woong*




Desir poured through the information presented with a cautious look. Half an hour later, he sighed, took his hand off the mirror, and backed away.



“Ha… ”




Three weeks had passed since the graduation ceremony. For three weeks, Desir Arman had done nothing but spend his time and effort chasing after Pierrot Mask. As much as he longed to start his education program, there was nothing more important to him than securing the future of the world.




Pierrot Mask was an entity that posed as much threat as Skull Mask, but in reality, they knew little about who he was or what he was capable of. Given that he had been the one to kill Skull Mask, it was likely he was capable of being even more dangerous than him.




Therefore, Desir had to collect every bit of information possible. Discovering the true nature of the mirror before him had proven to be the best tool he had at his disposal to do that, but that was not all.




He mobilized intelligence groups from all over the continent while Pram, Romantica, and Adjest all set out on their own, scouring the land for even a trace.


“All this effort… wasted. Three weeks of an entire continent and an absurdly powerful artifact searching for one man, and nothing.”




Desir sighed again, a somber feeling taking root in his heart.




“I can tell it didn’t go well.”




A familiar voice entered the room, and Desir instinctively gave a polite bow. It was Zod Exarion.




Desir replied despondently.




“Unfortunately, yes. I don’t think this artifact works very well against someone who knows how it works.”




The Mirror That Holds Shadows was obviously an excellent artifact, but even it had limits.




No matter how far away an event was, information about it could be obtained, but it still relied on human interpretation to figure out what the event really meant.





Even if Pierrot Mask was moving, it was impossible to notice his movement if he completely hid his identity or acted in a way that did not reveal his intentions.




Desir spoke bitterly.




“The only information I have in hand is what I got a week ago.”




So far, he had only gathered one piece of information presumably related to Pierrot Mask.




There had been thirteen murders in Adenia. Each of the victims had been killed in a different way, but their bodies had been so horribly mutilated and disfigured that it was impossible to discern their identity. With what little information they had to work with, the authorities could not find anything linking the victims together




Desir assumed this was the work of Pierrot Mask. There were too many murders done too quickly, and each of them with a different method; it could not have been a coincidence. That


sort of action fit Pierrot Mask’s whimsical personality to a T. Desir assumed he had turned their thirteen identities into thirteen unique bodies for himself, but that did not make him any easier to track down. Since the bodies had been left unidentifiable, Pierrot Mask would essentially look like a normal person, with nothing to distinguish him.




The mirror was powerful, but it was not all-powerful. It informed Desir that the incident had occurred, but he had no information on the victims or the killer, just how they died and what actions the locals had taken to investigate. In the end, identifying the victims would be an incredibly arduous task that would take a lot of time.




“I guess we’ll have to figure out each of the thirteen identities and do our best to track any sightings of each of them.”




Desir felt his head throbbing as he spoke. It would be an extremely obnoxious task, but that was not the biggest problem.




“If we take too long, or he realizes that we’re onto him, he’ll just disguise himself as someone else. We could end up tracking mutilated bodies for months. If we don’t hurry up, we’ll never find him.”


“Desir, I think I have some good news.”




Zod spoke as he approached the artifact.




When he put his hand on the mirror, specific information about another incident was displayed in the artifact. It pertained to the murder of an Allied Forces soldier shortly after the Pittsburgh showdown, even though everything had long concluded there.




It was obvious that Pierrot Mask must have disguised himself as the soldier.




“As soon as I learned this information, I put together an investigation to determine who Pierrot Mask disguised himself as.”




Identifying the victim would not be particularly hard, as the supposedly dead soldier would not reappear after others had seen him fall in battle. But since Pierrot Mask was already assumed to be disguised as one of the new thirteen victims, knowing who he was three weeks ago wouldn’t help them now.


Still, Desir listened attentively. Zod was not one to tell unnecessary stories.




“Did you find anything?”




“Look at this.”




When Zod operated the artifact, the marked information shifted and marked the timing of the murder in Adenia.




“That murder was seven days ago, right?”




“Yes. But more notably, that wasn’t long after I discovered the identity of the soldier.”




Desir noticed what Zod was trying to say.




“Are you saying that information is leaking from our side?”




“Maybe. It may be a mere coincidence, but we shouldn’t dismiss it as such.”





Zod kept on talking.




“I think Pierrot Mask is more dangerous than Skull Mask. His movements are never accidental. It might have been a premeditated move to betray Skull Mask and steal the power source.”




“If there was a traitor inside the Allied Forces, as you are assuming Tower Master, and the traitor was cooperating with Pierrot Mask, he would have listened to everything happening inside the Allied Forces and the Outsiders. Every move he made would have been based on that information.”




Desir could not help thinking that the war between the Kingdom of Divide and the Allied Forces might have been controlled by an invisible hand from the start.




If the worst ended up being true, he might be more of a threat than a Skull Mask, just as Zod said.




“If such a traitor really exists inside, who are they?”


They couldn’t rule out the possibility that Pierrot Mask might be disguised just like he did as the King of Divide, Colora Valdersch.




With the precedent set in Divide, there was no guarantee that other countries would be able to fare better.




Most of all, if there was a Pierrot Mask collaborator who betrayed the Allied Forces… They could not rule out the possibility that it was one of their trusted comrades, those who had fought right alongside them.




Thinking so, his thoughts gradually became more and more disordered. The more he thought, the worse his state of mind became.




‘Let’s calm down.’




Desir mentally retorted such, but it was not easy. Anxiety swelled up inside him.




“You don’t have to jump to conclusions.”



Zod spoke while grasping Desir’s fist, which was trembling fiercely.




“It might just be a coincidence. We need to assume the worst, but we can’t let it cloud our vision.”




The hand that held his was rough, but firm and warm.




He could feel the anxiety rising in his heart slowly begin to melt away at once, the warm hand melting the glacier that had unknowingly formed in his heart.




“One step at a time. First, let’s find out who Pierrot Mask has changed his identity to.”




“Okay.”




Realizing that Desir had immediately jumped to the worst situation, and his mind had consumed itself with the task of discovering who, Zod immediately rushed to calm Desir down.


Zod had always been like this, even in Desir’s previous life. He was Desir’s rock, the one who would support him in his times of need. That was why Desir trusted Zod more than anyone else.




Desir felt grateful for the fact that Zod was by his side.




“Well, that’s enough of the heavy talk.”




Zod changed the subject when he seemed to calm down to some extent.




“I have some good news. Actually, I only dropped by to share this.”




Zod’s eyes changed. The wise eyes, which seemed to encompass everything, were nowhere to be found, and the eyes of an excitable child appeared within a moment.




‘Here we go again.’




As an engineer, he used to show such eyes when he was discussing things that interested him. No matter how much


time passed, Zod Exarion was a reliable constant.




Thinking so, Desir opened his mouth.




“You must have found something.”




“I discovered two important things. First, I’ve decrypted another artifact from Skull Mask’s collection.”




Zod pulled something out of his dimensional pocket. It was an eyeball-shaped necklace.




“That’s… ”




Desir remembered the artifact. Some of the other artifacts were not yet usable because they had yet to be identified, but that was because additional protections hung over them.




He was not as much use in decrypting them, contrary to what one might expect from the formidable anti-mage capable of unravelling any spell used before him. Unlocking and figuring out these artifacts was tedious, time-consuming work. It would


take a considerable amount of time before these artifacts could become usable.




It was clear that Skull Mask took the security of all of his artifacts seriously, as he had deployed powerful protection on most of them. Desir recalled that this artifact specifically had incredibly powerful protection placed upon it.




“What kind of artifact was it?”




“I’d rather let you see it firsthand than try to explain it.”




Desir gestured at the surrounding experimental tools.




“Right here, right now?”




At this exaggerated motion, Zod shrugged as if it were nothing.




“It’s not an offensive artifact, don’t worry about the lab. I know how much this space means to you, I wouldn’t try to damage it.”





Desir was reassured and received and donned the artifact.




Zod calmly taught him how to use it. The process was so complicated that he had to concentrate and try hard not to miss Zod’s words.




“… and turn the ruby-colored gem at the center of the eyeball three times.”




The moment he finished operating it, he felt his vision dimming.




When he opened his closed eyes again, he found himself sitting in a white space where nothing existed. It was a space with no end in sight.




Desir looked at his neck. The artifact he was wearing had already disappeared.






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