Sheila tapped Caduceus with her tail as a signal. We had decided the signs for safety and danger in a hurry. Tapping it meant she was safe, while stroking it meant that she was in danger. Regardless of these things, I should probably extract more information before storming into the building.
Unable to resist, Sheila obediently got tied up in one of the chairs by Jasper’s companions. As soon as they left, I made Caduceus cut the rope. Her appearance made it appear as if she was still tied up by the rope, and as long as the part that Caduceus had cut was kept down, it was a complete disguise.
“Do you intend to steal the credit for our achievements?”
After being questioned by Sheila, Jasper let out a prideful smile. Perhaps he became aware of his overwhelming superiority over her as he faced Sheila, who was tied up, and answered her with a look full of pride.
“Well, it can’t be helped, havin’ ta bring in that Knight-sama into dis nice place. I’ll get a lot of money, and dey say I’ll be promoted after dis job is done. I’m worn out from havin’ ta trap dat naive brat.”
…In other words, his plan of setting up achievements for Fernand seemed to be unchanged.
“Say, Jasper-san. What are you going to do with the girls we have captured?”
“We are waitin’ fer the preparation of the Slavery Spell. Just in case they end up runnin’ away. The whole thing will fall apart, right? Well, I suppose I’ll allow you guys to savor them till yer full.”
“That’ll be great. We will look forward to it!”
With that, the men laughed.
“…You goddamn low-lives.”
Although Chester spat that at them, Jasper sneered at him. An arrangement for a Slavery Spell, was it?
“Mercedia and Chester, how were you caught?”
Sheila shrugged her shoulders at the vulgar conversation between the men. As if ignoring the men, she asked that to the Knights who were next to her.
“It seems that Greg, who is the superior they report to, personally supported them.”
“As for me…after I showed up at the Palace, I ended up passing by them carrying the unconscious Mercedia. While I was questioning them, I received a blow from behind by Lord Greg, who had arrived there.”
Was he saying that Mercedia was drugged? With this intention, Greg was probably involved in this from the beginning. Maybe…the plan was to have Fernand come to the rescue after Mercedia went missing? They were probably thinking that, even though Mercedia’s group had gotten completely wiped out in the Labyrinth, they had found the Door somehow.
Since Chester…unintentionally ended up running into that area, he evaluated that he couldn’t persuade them, and was completely cut down.
…I understood the gist of things.
This wasn’t a situation with any extenuating circumstances. I would show them no mercy, since they had crossed the line. After sending a signal to act to Sheila, through Caduceus, she nodded.
Now then, shall we begin?
By manipulating my levitation, I plunged into a nosedive. Relying on the force of the descent, I knocked down a male guard using Ouroboros, and muted any sound with Wind Magic.
The guard, who took the heavy impact alone, couldn’t even make any noise as he was buried into the earth.
After activating Life Detection, I walked into the private wooden house while searching for enemies.
There wasn’t a single person on the first floor. After looking at the floor, it appeared that there were several reactions to Life Detection in the basement. I then checked it out with Caduceus’s vision, and after completely grasping the enemy’s position, I expanded a Magic Circle around my feet.
Lightning pierced the floor and scorched one of the guys who was on the floor below.
In a flash, I activate my next Spell. I got on top of stones that were created by Rock Breath. As I destroyed the ceiling, I knocked down a man who was directly below me. Together with the rocks, I descended into the basement.
I cleared my vision by blowing away the cloud of dust with Wind Magic and glared into the room. Those guys faces could probably be described as speechless.
Although most of the men were taken by surprise and huddled together, one of them touched the sword that was on their waist. However, in the next moment, his face was caved in by a chunk of ice.
“Can’t you see that there are h-hostages–!?”
Just as he opened his mouth, I shot stone bullets at him. All of his teeth were shattered, and it sounded like his jawbone had broken. As large amounts of blood spilled from his mouth, he let out a soundless scream and tumbled onto the floor.
It looked like they had not figured out what was happening, but I had grasped their positions and range from all angles. Since I had deployed the enough Magic Circles and put them on standby, ready for activation, I could instantly strike anyone who tried to move.
Some tried to flee towards the door behind me.
That’s right. I thought those guys would flee towards the nearest entrance after I had beaten up several of them. I aimed at a man’s back and activated a Spell.
A Rank 5 Wood Magic, Trample Thorn. Thorny ivy sprouted from the Magic Circle, bound the man tightly, and started to strangle him. The man, who had his whole body caught by the thorns, screamed loudly from the intense pain. It quickly imprisoned him in a sphere of thorns. The basement entrance was also closed off by this.
Four people remained, including Jasper.
“T-that bastard Jasper enticed me!”
The one who said that had happily laughed earlier, after listening to the way Jasper planned to deal with the captives.
Next next instant, lightning surged out of a expanded Magic Circle and struck him. White smoke rose from his body, and he collapsed. Three people remained.
A flirtatious, soft voice came out. A spear of ice immediately shot towards that person, piercing them in the shoulder and pinning them to the wall. Two people remained.
Those two, who were frozen in place right now, remained silent as they listened to the agonizing voices around them.
For the sake of the future, I decided to clarify their goal.
“I guess that will do for taking care of the group that took these hostages.”
After I declared that, I shot rocks at the second man and hit him in the chest. He was sent flying, all the way to the wall, and only one person remained. Jasper.
I had a spell to restrict his power… so that he could just barely stay alive. I decided give him my stance on the various events that had happened today.
As for the people who could talk here, Jasper alone was enough to explain the situation, since he was the most deeply involved here. He would surely be talkative with the way it was done.
As I stared at Jasper who was huddled nearby Sheila, his body trembled in surprise.
“Speak only after thinking about it carefully. How’s Fernand? What about the Twilight Forest?”
“…Y-Yeah. We gathered information from the Soldiers here after beating them up. Although they hesitated in the beginning, after we said that we would beat Mercedia, they spoke up.”
…Mercedia’s exploratory group soldiers, huh? The soldiers probably expected Jasper’s group to finish Mercedia off scot-free and tried to protect her. Mercedia currently had her eyes shut, and looked like she was in pain.
”Fernand brought me along as a new companion, and we went into the Labyrinth. It still hadn’t been long since I met these guys, so I couldn’t rely on them for this work.”
I see. Speaking of that, Jasper’s new Adventurer group that I had seen previously…they didn’t appear to be among the people here. Right now, I couldn’t make a conclusion about how much those guys knew about this…but this meant that Jasper had gathered people who knew him well and made them help out, all just to create a nice memory.
However…these guys sure were reckless.
Looking at it from Greg’s position, he was probably thinking about silencing the perpetrators who knew about the situation later on.
What he said about the arrangement of the Slavery Spell and such, was probably this. Since he could dispel Slavery Spells, it would be highly unlikely for him to keep any eyewitness alive.
He placed out bait before him, and he would destroy any evidence by killing both the perpetrators and hostages, leaving no one. Later on, he would bring the bodies into the Labyrinth and leave them there, saying that they died in the Labyrinth. This would finally close the case.
This would return him to power and get rid of me, who was an eyesore to him, killing two birds with one stone.
“Was Greg the one who gave you these orders? Does Fernand know about this matter?”
Jasper nodded with a sour expression after I asked that.
“Damn it! What naive brat…! Isn’t he a Monster!?”
The man who was pinned by the ice spear cursed at Jasper while crying out in pain.
The moment I shifted my gaze to him, Jasper, who was being vigilant against me, turned Sheila and reached out his hand. However, that was a wasted effort.
Jasper momentarily had a stupefied expression and yelled.
It was like he had thrust his hand into a pincushion. Caduceus, which had changed into several needles, attacked the hand that reached for Sheila.
After sewing his hands together in the air, Caduceus became a spear and pierced Jasper’s knee. It then returned to protect Sheila.
As soon as that happened, the rope, which bound the hostages, was undone. Caduceus had secretly cut the rope, then lengthened its body to disguise itself as the rope.
Ever since the beginning, no matter what Jasper had tried to do, he had been in a checkmate.
Afterwards…these guys would be handed over to the Castle, and this matter would be settled if Fernand was arrested after returning from the Twilight Forest.