G5: PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THIS BEFORE READING CHAPTER 32.
Xant: Interlude #2
Chapter 31.5 – Summoner of the Cardiff House
“Ah, damn it!”
Morris suddenly lost his temper and threw the glass that he had in his hands against the wall.
He wouldn’t get drunk no matter how much he drank. Staying sober felt like an impasse, and even if he was drunk, he still got depressed. He would do nothing but indulge himself in a love affair later on.
Thus, he turned to alcohol and women. He was like that regardless of day or night. Still, it was by accident that he remembered something unpleasant.
Even though he was on the right track with a new * * business, it was so sudden. He was suddenly unable to do things the way he wanted to on just about everything.
It had been captured by Adventurers after all. He became confused and ended up vacating the Port Base. He couldn’t take actions into his own hands, so he couldn’t deal with or dispose of the Adventurers and female monsters that had been captured from the Labyrinth.
That wasn’t the only thing. A problem occurred on that very same day, even though he made his second son, who was under house arrest until it became a suitable time for the storm to blow over, go to school.
His opponent was the illegitimate child of the Gartner House. He should also turn against that head of the Shirn House, who interfered with him, and see her as an enemy. Though, she might’ve been an enemy from the beginning.
Count Gartner and Baron Shirn. There was a large granary within their territory. Speaking of insulting the head of the Shirn Family, it is probably foolish of him to do so, since he himself failed at farming. Although he intended to get his revenge, he had to withdraw first. Morris’s mood was pretty much the worst due to such matters.
A person now looked at such a Morris with cold eyes and sneered at him.
“Please calm yourself, Your Excellency.”
A voice like a ringing bell could be heard from Morris’s bed. It came from a beautiful woman with red eyes.
Lynette Caird. She was a magician who came to the Cardiff Family around three years ago, by chance. Lynette was seeking an employer, and Morris accepted her.
“Do you think this could calm me down!? The stock we had in the Southern District was still up in the air so we couldn’t move! Wasn’t that your proposal in the first place!?”
“Ara, the one who partook in my suggestion is Your Excellency, you know? Your Excellency, earning a large sum of money comes with a small investment and some risk, and I’m making good progress in my research since I can do practical tests on it. In fact, if you look at it from the beginning, wasn’t it fun?”
“It mustn’t be such a situation!”
After he yelled out, Morris, who seemed gloomy, shook off Lynette, who rotated her hand on her shoulder, and left the bedroom.
Stomping footsteps vanished into the inside of the hall.
“…Fu. Too late.”
Lynette, who was the only person left in the room, smiled.
Her smile was like a thin moon, splitting apart to the ears.
“The pig is frightened.”
Although it was certain that Morris’s thoughts tended to move in a simple-minded manner, since he only believed in his strength, if one were to speak about that belief, then it should be something similar to Lynette’s companions. Controlling Morris’s actions was rather easy.
In regards to the Cardiff House possessing a storehouse within Boundary City, it was quite convenient.
That place was like having free access to the supply of materials of a research facility, and she could research whatever with a lack of thought and the sense of duty of a boss who didn’t know what their future profits would turn out to be.
She was bored with the persistent nights, but she thought it was an ideal symbiotic relationship.
However, it was the first time Morris had gotten upset at his failure to manage his territory. The Cardiff House finances had reached a limit, and even their own research was delayed.
In regards to a solution for that, they were informed that they could earn an average slave dealer’s profits if they raised and sold female Monsters, along with captured Adventurers, from the Labyrinth.
They also said that the possibility of being discovered was low if he had their own Black Dimension Stones, or if he acted discreetly. Although this was something he agreed on, they did explain that it carried a risk, so, in his opinion, he thought there were not any lies mixed in.
Morris was attracted to this, and even if he, as a Count, couldn’t take command, he put everything together, from his own plan to as far as the prison.
Unless he truly had repaid his debt long ago, he likely would have moved out of his mansion and been caught at the Port alongside the servants of the Cardiff House after Snakebite was arrested. Perhaps avoiding that situation was his own achievement.
However, all of this was to arrive at the seal of the Moonlight Shrine in the lower level of the Boundary Labyrinth, a place that was not meants for the likes of humans.
The Cardiff House didn’t even have any right to boast about it, as Lynette’s goal wasn’t to attain status and lead a life of luxury. She was already in the same boat as that pig since she knew about what they’ve researched due to her currying favour with Morris.
Nevertheless, Lynette reflected on this.
Exactly what will happen? How far were the Royal Family or the Adventurer’s Guild willing to go to find incredulity in the events related to the Count?
Maybe she couldn’t afford to get upset about such a thing, no matter the circumstances, but to give out the results of her research until now, as well as the Dimension Stones and the like, while in the middle of her experiments was suspicious.
The research she had done until now was sent to her companions in full detail, and there had been reports given. It wasn’t wasteful, but suspicious things were indeed suspicious. Research on Dimension Stones couldn’t be done unless one was at Termuilles, but the Cardiff House ended up doing it anyways.
“This might be an opportunity.”
It would take just a little bit longer until the results of her next experiment.
She would need to complete it quickly if she was to escape…but it would still be difficult even if she fled. The research into Transference, the transfer of objects by utilizing Dimension Stones, was still incomplete.
There was a limitation to Transfer and Summoning Magic in this city, and whether it was inside or outside of the Labyrinth, there were barriers separated into many floors.
Due to the results of the research, it became possible to Transfer and Summon from inside those barriers…but one had to pass through the ‘moving’ main gate of those barriers in order to escape. If it became a situation where one was waiting for it to move to them, it was possible to be captured just before they could escape.
Would one be able to escape via Transfer if one destroyed the outside barriers as they killed the priests and priestesses of the Moon Shrine?
The trump card she had was still in the basement of this mansion, but she had to consider that there was a possibility of turmoil.
Although the risk was high, it wouldn’t be that of a ‘shameful return’, but rather that of a ‘triumphant return’ if the barrier destruction was to succeed. She was certain that there wasn’t a need to have her huge Walross make an appearance.
She had to consider whether to proceed onwards or to delay it.
As she thought about such things, she heard an angry voice from His Excellency, as if there was an argument happening.
Lynette left the room to find out what it was, and after peering into the entrance hall from the 2nd floor, she saw that Morris was in a dispute with armed soldiers at the door.
“You bastards! Who was it that found out about me!?”
“But, Count Morris, you’re under suspicion of being a kidnapper and a killer. Please behave yourself and accompany us.”
“Do you think I would know about such a thing!?”
“If you think you can clear yourself of that suspicion, then–”
“Shut up! My Cardiff House is a distinguished family!”
Was what was said during this bickering.
Lynette thought that this wouldn’t end.
How was this situation discovered? It was too late to not care about it, but if she really wasn’t given freedom, then perhaps she would separate herself from the count quickly, before the turmoil started, and escaped the town. Right now, she wouldn’t have any choice but to give up on her research along the way.
Although Lynette had counted such chickens before they hatched, Morris had destroyed everything thus far.
“You insolent people! I’m telling you to shut up!”
The enraged Morris cast a water spell, Icicle Lance.
The ice spear struck the soldier’s shoulder, who let out a scream and fell on the floor while his blood splattered.
Lynette inadvertently leaned forward at Morris’ action. This situation wouldn’t take a turn for the better since Morris had resisted. The way he dealt with this was an especially bad move on his part. It was more accurate to say that it was the worst move he could take.
If one were to speak of what these soldiers, who came to the mansion of the Cardiff House, were unhappy about, then perhaps it was about Morris acting recklessly, similar to a boss rushing towards success.
They had arranged a plan to deal with him by cooperating with the Adventurer’s Guild, and whether they held the achievement of the hostage’s rescue or that they had overlooked the criminals of the Cardiff House until now, by encountering this impatience of his, only those who were on the side of the authorities would steal a march on him.
Although his opponents were known to be part of a martial arts sect, it wasn’t necessarily the end for his private army that was always in his mansion. He also neglected such a thing.
“H-He can use Magic! Backup! Call for backup!”
“You’re greatly outnumbered, so resistance is futile, Count Morris! Will you be a man and acknowledge our suspicions!?”
The soldiers were still saying such things. They were being cautious, since their opponent was the head of a Noble family. It was so disastrous that even Lynette wanted to close her eyes.
Morris shook his head in annoyance and yelled out at every soldier that made a fuss about this as they brandished their spears.
“Shut up! Do you think I would fucking know about such a thing! All of it was her! That damn woman! Everything was decided by Lynette!”
–That damn pig! Is he selling me out!?
An accomplice, what was he saying?
Lynette became enraged while she gripped the handrail in the hallway.
It was final. She was given protection by her boss, but she had no intentions of accepting such an excuse. Morris ruined her, and the person who was most important to her became a wanted man. It was at that instant.
Perhaps she was really unlucky. She could already see the frequented main gate being forced shut in order to prevent the fugitive from fleeing.
After a momentary fury passed through her body, a laugh escaped from her mouth.
You’re really foolish.
A wanted man? You sold me out? We Demons are incompatible with you humans in the first place.
Besides what happened, there wasn’t a need to act so shrewdly anymore, pretending to be a powerless human.
Miasma rose from Lynette’s body. This was the only time she would use THAT that was in the basement.
A magic circle expanded around her feet.
“W-What the hell is it!?”
A large vibration shook Morris’s mansion.
Something that was long and narrow pierced the floor of the entrance hall and suddenly appeared. It wasn’t just one or two.
“A H-Hydra…!? But this is..!?”
Some of the soldiers recognized it.
It was like an ugly dragon, a dragon with several heads that could take pride of its abnormal regenerative ability.
Pieces of flesh were scraping off and falling here and there, and the muscle and white bone under that stuck out.
A zombie. It was a zombie Hydra.
The soldiers that were near it were eaten. Those who were being eaten swung their weapons, but they only struck the floor and got chewed up.
At the same time, its decaying structure began to regenerate. It was the flesh and blood of the pitiful soldiers. They were assimilated and absorbed into the immortal Hydra.
This scene was too frightening; a shiver ran through the soldiers.
When a Hydra changed into an undead, in exchange for losing its original regenerative ability, it gained the ability to regenerate limitlessly by eating its ‘spoils’.
They were monsters that had obtained such an ability. They didn’t have a sense of pain or a sense of fear, so they might be more dangerous compared to original Hydras.
However, it was impossible for it to be something from nature. An undead was an existence only meant to serve. If that was the case, then its owner was sure to be around here somewhere.
“Lynette! Is that you!?”
Morris yelled out, searching for her, and then he saw her.
Lynette was floating inside the entrance hall.
Morris, who had already forgotten blurting out her name, had expected for this to happen. He knew the existence of this immortal Hydra after all.
She would use this to escape the city. This is what Lynette had taken into consideration.
Therefore, she should save him too. He had thought as much, until he saw her appearance, that is.
What stood there wasn’t the beautiful woman Morris knew well. Lynette’s face had remained, but she had eyes that shone with a blazing red hue and purple skin, along with a black mist rising off of her whole body.
With their power that preyed on human negativity, they were inhabitants of darkness who should be feared.
“You’ve some free time on your hands.”
A clear, female voice that he knew well could be heard from that grotesque figure.
“Your disgusting emotions are really quite delicious you know. You’ve allowed me to enjoy it from the moment I started working here. However, there is an end for everything.”
Lynette finished speaking for a moment, and then she took in a deep breath. A snake-like tongue that extended from ear to ear appeared from her mouth.
At that moment, a dense, compressed miasma bullet shot out from Lynette’s mouth, piercing Morris’s stomach.
“Ah, So-, huh…?”
“Go die already, you piece of trash! A human of your standing shouldn’t betray me! Gyahahaha!”
Morris held the hole in his stomach, and collapsed onto his knees.
Lynette didn’t dare end his life. The dying Morris’s agony and despair was irresistibly delicious to her after all.
A fireball fell down onto Lynette.
However, it was shot down with a miasma bullet, and Lynette closed in on the soldiers who could use Magic.
She extended her sharp claws at the soldier’s hands and feet and cut them.
After she grabbed onto the hair of the soldiers who had fallen onto the ground, she threw them towards the Hydra as if she were throwing dolls. The hands and feet of the soldiers were chewed off in the air, and they fell unconscious.
“Well, now hold on a second. There’s still more you know?”
Lynette looked like she was enjoying herself, and then she gave the soldiers a smile, who had several heads, hands, and feet chewed off.
The screams of the soldiers sounded like a chorus to her, and then Lynette spread out both of her hands towards the remaining soldiers.
“Here we go.”
She glared at the soldiers who backed away after she stuck out her tongue and licked her lips.
“Ah–so delectable. Now what will those shrine priests tassste like?”
Lynette rode on the back of the immortal Hydra and advanced without hiding her true character. It had been a while since she revealed her true character and had a taste of this despair. It was really an irresistible flavor.
If this flavor was compared to the guys who were captured from the Labyrinth, then the anxiety and fear she had tasted in the prison was more mild.
Her target was the entrance to the Labyrinth, the Moon Shrine. Oh, how delicious would the despair and agony of those priests and priestesses be.
“Save me! Save me!”
There were soldiers who resisted, but some also ran away.
Those who caught her eye were offered to the Hydra, and then Lynette proceeded onward, feeding off their fear while listening to their screams.
Although there were sporadic counterattacks, it wasn’t anything special. All humans were like healing medicine to the immortal Hydra.
Let’s go. What a joke.
Even if she shot directly towards Boundary City, she needed to make some preparations, and she would do a sudden attack from within.
The Hydra’s giant body came to a plaza near the shrine and trampled it.
Then, HE came.
She suddenly got chills. Following her instincts, she jumped out from behind the immortal Hydra.
It happened in the blink of an eye. Lightning pierced the immortal Hydra’s back, which was enough to dye the world in white.
However, a giant magic circle expanded in the plaza, as if indicating this tremendous lightning attack was only a warm-up.
Lynette saw a young boy in the middle of it. He had reddish-brown hair and eye, and appeared to be a noble.
This young boy also saw her and squinted his eyes, as if he hadn’t seen anything important.
She intuitively knew that the lightning attack from earlier was from him.
A hole opened up on its body from that lightning attack, and white smoke rose. The immortal Hydra could still move.
Lynette, who felt a chill from the young boy’s expression, tried to incite the Hydra.
“You’re in the way.”
The young boy stepped forth with an explosive speed.
“Bite him to death.”
He approached the Hydra until he was close enough to touch it, and then he held his hands out. A Sealing Circle expanded out from under the immortal Hydra’s feet with the young boy’s words.
When its body was completely immobilized, an atrocity occurred inside the Sealing Circle, one that should be feared.
The sound of chewing resounded.
Lurking darkness expanded beneath the Hydra. Countless eyes and mouths appeared from inside it.
The darkness launched tentacles, which bound the immortal Hydra’s body repeatedly and then locked it down.
This giant body was preyed upon and chewed at by the darkness.
The victims that became its flesh and blood began to regenerate the Hydra. This resistance tried to repel the darkness that was chewing at it.
However, it was pointless. As if it were sinking easily into the Abyss, the Hydra was simply being devoured.
It was Rank 8 Darkness Magic, Eater of Demons. It was an Advanced Spell.
However, this was a scene that even Lynette couldn’t watch. She couldn’t look away from the young boy who was directing a tremendous amount of hatred towards her.
This feeling of negativity coming from him should have been something that Demons liked, however…
She could only see hatred. What he directed at her was something she was used to.
For what reason was there delight? She had found the ‘spoils’ that she had been looking for.
It was the feeling of a carnivorous beast targeting a herbivore.
“A Demon, huh?”
A quiet voice could be heard coming from the young boy who was staring fixedly at Lynette.