Infinite Mage (Novel) Chapter 164

                         



C164

“Haa, anyway, I never thought a day like today would come. Maybe now I can start living a slightly different life?"

Although her wounds hadn't completely healed, it was clear that she had broken out of her shell. What remained was to carve out a life while vividly experiencing the pain of the past.

“What are you going to do next? From what I heard, it sounds like you have a pursuer.”

Freeman said.

“We are leaving. We started as mercenaries, so we should live as mercenaries. Our men would want that too. Of course, in this country, we've been ridiculously labeled as a bandit group."

Marsha's eyes dimmed with sadness. Mercenaries is a being that fights. She was always ready to face death, which is why she could bury her comrades' deaths in her heart and still smile.

She had never fought for a grand cause or shallow justice. But she was always proud and never shied away from a challenge.

Marsha wanted to at least give them the honor of being vaRiant warriors. She thought they shouldn't be buried with the label of bandits.

Tess, who understood Marsha's feelings, offered words of comfort.

“In fact, there is only a slight difference between a bandit and a mercenary. In a sense, knights and mercenaries are also a small difference. They are beings who fight and perish for their beliefs. The politically culled side will be evil, but I think the tide may turn one day.”

Rian also had similar thoughts. He doesn't know about Shirone or Amy, who is scholars, but if one dreamed of becoming a knight, it was something they had to prepare for.

"Our family also faced threats once. We chose to remain neutral. Come to think of it, your father must have had a hard time too, Tess."

“Yeah, well. My father is a hero here, but in the colonies, he's treated as an invader. In the end, that's what it is. That's politics."

Marsha smiled. She knew that Rian and Tess were deliberately sharing these stories for her sake.

She is still skeptical of the world, but now she has come to believe the existence of sincere people.

‘They are Warm-hearted kids. They are really Shirone's friends.'

Marsha fell down with her chin on the table like a lazy cat. Enraptured by her long-awaited peace, she raised her index finger and pointed at Shirone.

"But what about you guys? What are you planning next? Are you going to continue sightseeing?"

"Ah, we’re going to the Kerugo Ruins.”

“Kerugo? What are young men and women doing there?"

"Well, actually..."

Shirone explained their reason for coming to the island. Marsha, who had been listening with interest, nodded her head in surprise.

“Wow, there was such a secret in the ruins. I didn't know that since I was away from the island. Freeman, did you know?"

“To some extent. I heard stories from the natives."

"Hmm, I see. So, you want to enter Kerugo autonomous region?"

"Yes. However, the difficulty level of the Room of Achievement and Sacrifice is so high that I don’t know if we can pass it.”

"If you can't get in, then it's just not possible?"

“Maybe so. I do have something in mind, but I'm not sure about it."

Freeman, who heard that far, spoke up.

“If that’s the case, we can help.”

"Yes? The Room of Achievement and Sacrifice?"

“No, you can enter the autonomous region even if you don’t necessarily go through there. I think Falkoa traded Loop with them. Show them our Freeman Organization pass and they'll let you in. Anyway, he was quite competent in such matters."

Shirone and the others had blank expressions. This was the first time he had heard of being able to enter the natives autonomous region without taking the test.

Amy asked, tilting her head.

“If that’s the case, won’t the passage be different? If there are two routes from the beginning, there’s no need to create a gateway of test, right?”

"I'm not sure about that. But what's clear is that both routes lead to the same place. This is a fact confirmed by those who have entered through the gateway of tests."

Hearing this, Shirone also felt puzzled. He expected that at least if one passed the gateway of test, they would be sent to another area.

"The same place, but one route requires passing a test. Why do they do that?"

Tess said.

"It's hard to tell. Maybe it's a tradition. Ancient cultures often retain such things. Another assumption could be to avoid people's suspicions."

"How would that help?"

"It would give the impression that there's nothing special in the autonomous region. In fact, after hearing the story, our expectations for the Room of Achievement and Sacrifice have diminished, haven't they?"

Freeman concluded.

“Anyway, it would be a good idea to check it yourself. If needed, we'll make you a pass. It can be done right away."

"Thank you, we appreciate it."

Shirone decided to accept it for now. They hadn't decided which route to use yet, but having more ways to approach the autonomous region was better.

After calling his subordinates and ordering them to issue passes, Freeman turned back to Shirone's group.

"Getting in won't be a problem, but you'll need someone who speaks the native language. None of our men can do it."

"What? Then how did Falkoa make the deal?”

"Since arriving on the island, Falkoa established his own forces independently. Strictly speaking, the original mercenary group didn't associate with him. Of course, now that Falkoa is dead, his private organization will have disintegrated, but back then, he often mingled with the local smugglers. Apparently, one of them could interpret."

"Hmm, then we need to find an interpreter too."

Yuna timidly raised her hand.

"Um, I don’t know if I should say this but..."

"Hm? It's okay. You can say whatever you want."

“Actually, my brother can speak a little Kerugo."

Amy showed interest.

“Oh my, Jis is? How did he learn?”

“Ever since I was young, my brother has worked many jobs to take care of me. Before becoming a porter at the port, he did some tourism part-time jobs. I think he learned it then."

Freeman commented.

“Good. Then let’s ask Jis for a favor. We'd like to help, but it's dangerous for us to stay on the island now that Marsha has returned. The Magic Association is still after us."

Shirone also readily nodded in agreement. He did not want to burden Marsha any further, especially since she was being pursued on a national scale.

With the discussion concluded, Shirone's group left the building before sunset.

Marsha provided them with bracelets capable of spatial teleportation.

The method of use was simple. Since the bracelet itself had a Spirit Zone, it functioned like casting a spell – one just needed to think of the coordinates.

Shirone looked at the bracelet Marsha had given him.

People used it without much thought, but integrating magical artifacts and magic circles was an incredibly innovative concept.

It was a technique impossible without connecting two separate Spirit Zones in different spaces.

This could be seen as the external view of the 'spot' Marsha had shown them.

From inside the 'spot', one would only see a hole in space, but from the outside, there would be two 'spots' – an entrance and an exit.

'It’s like Miro of space and time. Maybe this world is already in the midst of a giant secret.'

At first, Shirone thought it was a special event that happened to him. But he realized that Marsha was a disciple of Alpheas.

As he went deeper, he learned that she was related to the Kerugo Ruins.

Moreover, space-time magic was still being incorporated into magic artifacts somewhere and spreading throughout the world.

Shirone felt a sudden fear. Perhaps, as the principal said, he was trying to find something he should never know.

While Shirone was lost in thought, Marsha approached him and gave a final piece of advice..

"There's a carriage waiting at the foot of the mountain. We might see each other again before you leave, but be careful anyway. And when you return, make sure to see a recovery mage for treatment."

"All right. Thank you for your concern."

"Hoho! What are you talking about, between us?”

Marsha covered her mouth and hit Shirone's arm playfully. She might not need to hide herself anymore, but she wasn't much different from when they first met. Perhaps she had always lived by showing herself behind the shield of lies.

“I’ll go. If we don’t see each other on the island, contact me at the magic school."

"Don't worry. Clay Marsha can always find you, anytime, anywhere."

Marsha rolled up her sleeves and spoke confidently. As expected, she was someone who knew how to make someone's heart pleasant.

Freeman was assisting next to her. It seems that one side is treated too superiorly to be considered her friend, but in some ways, he thought that this structure suited it well in its own way.

As Shirone entered the forest, Marsha, who had been standing there for a long time, asked.

“Kerugo Ruins, huh. Will they be okay?"

"Perhaps…. It won’t be okay.”

Marsha frowned and looked back at Freeman. But, as always, Freeman calmly said what he had to say.

"But they'll overcome it. Because they are strong kids.”

Marsha looked up at the sky with a bittersweet smile. The noise of spatial movement born in the forest split the sky.

Risky Deal (1)

By the time Shirone and his party returned to the villa by carriage, it was already evening.

Jis, who was pacing around the living room with his aching body, turned around as soon as the door opened.

"Ah..."

Tears welled up in Jis' eyes. His one and only younger sister, Yuna, entered the villa safely without any injuries.

"Brother!"

“Yuna!”

Jis, with a tear-stained face, hugged Yuna. The siblings clung to each other, crying profusely.

It had been a tremendously difficult ordeal for them. Even Shirone, who was second to none when it came to mental strength, had moments where he wanted to kneel, facing such formidable foes.

He was able to feel once again how helpless and frustrated Jis and Yuna were after being harmed by those people.

"Are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?"

"Hng. I'm fine. The brothers and sisters saved me. But what happened to you? Why are you bandaged up like that? How badly are you hurt?"

"I'm fine. As long as you're back, nothing hurts."

In fact, Jis had a hard time even walking. But he couldn't show it to Yuna. The fear she must have felt would have been far greater than any physical pain he endured.

Jis looked back at Shirone and the others with eyes brimming with emotion. He bowed deeply, his gratitude overflowing.

"Thank you! Thank you so much! I will never forget this favor.”

Tess patted Jis' shoulder as if it was okay. With what she had learned from Freeman, showing off could wait for another time.

"Hoho! You can forget about this as much as you want. Just remember what I said when we were setting off. If you're really grateful, you'll show it through your actions, right?"

"Huh? What do you mean?"

Jis blinked, not understanding what Tess said. Not only Shirone and the others, but even Yuna was looking at him with a smile.

* * *

After putting the exhausted Yuna to bed, Jis came out of the room and returned to the table. Sipping the herbal tea he had brewed, he picked up the conversation where it had left off.

"So you're planning to enter the autonomous district through the Kerugo Ruins, right? And that's why you need an interpreter."

"Yeah. Yuna mentioned you might be able to do it? We're just wondering how proficient you are."

“If it’s just everyday conversation, there’s no problem. I should be able to guide you. Hmm, but entering the native autonomous district... that's..."

Jis made a subtle expression and stroked his chin.

"What's wrong? You seem troubled. Is there something bothering you?"

"No, it's nothing. I'll gladly guide you. I'm not sure what you're going there for, but that place is special. It's not that it is a secret, but it's a zone strictly controlled by the Galliant Government for entry. Are you sure it's okay to go there?"



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