Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 78

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All-Powerful Sorcerer Episode 078

The Lord of the Trading City, Monzo.

Bilkos Monzo, rubbing his protruding belly under his black suspenders remarked,

“You are being requested to come out yourself.”

“Huh?”

“The boss has asked for you to come out.”

Upon hearing the message relayed by the landlord Ruin Ardel, to personally welcome him, Bilkos Monzo snorted dismissively,

“The young head of a rural Ardel house dares to tell me to come and go? Hmph! That’s not even funny.”

However,

He was well aware of the situation.

“…the victor of the Grand Tournament? He’s asking for the grand prize, huh? Heheh.”

Even though he monopolized all trade in the southern region of the Radiant Kingdom as the ‘Lord of Monzo’,

The other party was a sorcerer who had won the Grand Tournament.

Whether his status was noble or commoner,

Regardless of his youthful age,

His achievement ensured he was an individual entitled to special treatment, and it was well-known that he continuously received overtures from princes.

In such a situation, Bilkos Monzo had only one option.

He rose from his seat with a smug look and gently stroked his protruding nose.

“That brat from the Ardel family. Where is he now?”

“He is waiting at the mansion’s main gate.”

“Heheh… then I shall go in person and show him what true adult fear is.”

Bilkos Monzo, who boasted about teaching the terror of an adult,

Loved calculating profit and loss.

What he was good at,

“Oh my! Who might this be?”

“The victorious hero of the Radiant Kingdom from the Grand Tournament and the next-generation sorcerer born of the era, Ruin Ardel! Isn’t it?”

His strategy was to grovel before the strong.

Bilkos Monzo’s first impression, however, was that of a typical greedy noble obsessed solely with money.

Arrogance was evident on his face,

Greed filled his belly,

And deceit laced his tone of voice.

I naturally scowled.

“Lord Bilkos Monzo, is that correct?”

“Yes. I am Bilkos Monzo, the head of this modest city. Heheh. For someone of your esteemed status to visit such a humble place… It’s so embarrassing I can’t even lift my face.”

“Then don’t lift your face.”

“Excuse me?”

“If you find it so embarrassing to have asked me to come here, then you might as well keep your head down.”

One should not spit in a smiling face.

Yet, Monzo’s eyes conveyed a lethal look, as if he were about to spit on my innocently smiling face.

His past as the ‘boss’ raised doubts, but it was just a fleeting moment.

He returned to his obsequious demeanor and said,

“Yes. Heheh… Your forthright nature is exactly as I’ve heard, truly a man of this era and a hero. Heh. So, with reluctance, I will lift my head.”

“Do as you please. More importantly, you need to retrain your guards in proper etiquette.”

“Did my men make a mistake with your lordship…?”

“I’m not sure how you viewed our Ardel house normally, but it seems like you’ve been treating us like some goblin tribe… So I took the liberty of ‘handling’ them slightly. That’s okay, right?”

Bilkos Monzo’s eyes darted swiftly.

It was then that he realized why there were no guards around.

They were all sprawled on the ground.

His expression was clear.

‘Did you dare touch my men?’

He wanted to say, but he barely managed to suppress his emotions.

“Heh… Right. No problem. Treat them like your own subordinates and feel free to handle them comfortably.”

“Should I do that?”

Crack!

I didn’t hesitate to punch the ‘youngest guard’ at the back of Bilkos Monzo’s head.

“……..Gahhhhhhhhh!”

The guard let out a grotesque scream and collapsed, and once again, Bilkos Monzo’s face twisted in anger.

“We should have taught that boy some manners. That will do.”

“..!”

This time, he couldn’t hide his emotions, and it seemed as though countless whirlwinds were swirling in his chest.

Never had he imagined someone would strike his subordinates in front of him.

Of course, this was not in line with noble etiquette.

If a subordinate made a mistake, it was Bilkos Monzo himself, not I, who should punish them.

But such ‘noble etiquette’ applies to real nobles, not the street thugs it was being used on.

I smiled slyly and said,

“Do you intend to keep me waiting outside?”

“Eh? Ah, no… Of course not. Heh. Please, come in.”

I shook my head ‘no’ as I followed Bilkos Monzo into his mansion.

“This is my art gallery. One of my modest hobbies is collecting artwork…

As I gathered various pieces here and there, it became enough to show off to others. Heh.”

An art collection, you say…

But rather than mere artwork, this place was a ‘warehouse of desire’ filled with Bilkos Monzo’s perverse indulgences.

Such as a goblin wielding a stone axe—stuffed and mounted.

Or hanging a the decapitated head of an orc with a grotesque expression.

Everything here was abnormally creepy,

And I wondered what state of mind Bilkos Monzo was in to call these things art.

“How do you find them? Aren’t they beautiful?”

“…I don’t know. They make me uncomfortable just by looking at them.”

“People’s tastes differ, you see. I understand. Heh.”

However, he seemed to enjoy the ‘unpleasant sense of terror’ he elicited by deliberately showing such things to others.

A deplorable hobby.

I knew someone with similar traits.

The crown prince of the empire.

Shomeran Rainak.

Surely, between the eternal blooms called ‘peonies’ he planted in his palace and these hideous ‘orc heads’, there was a distinct sense of discomfort.

But what they wanted to extract from me remained the same.

‘My loyalty.’

Of course, the prince was far easier to deal with than this situation.

“This is the sitting room.”

Crocodile leather sofas.

Antlered coat stands.

A clean table of cypress wood.

We entered the sitting room, which was unnecessarily lush.

As I took my seat, Bilkos Monzo handed me one of the two teacups he received from a subordinate.

“Please drink. This ‘Perry-Mi’ tea is quite rare in the south.”

“I prefer not to.”

“Ah, do you dislike tea? Or should I bring you a refreshing drink instead?”

Did he not know, or was he pretending?

“There’s no need.”

Raising my voice a little, Bilkos Monzo shrugged as if he finally understood and took a sip from the cup he intended to offer me.

“You seem to think that I would stoop so low as to poison you with some low-grade tea… But that’s not the case. Heh. See? Completely fine.”

“Oh, is that so? How surprising.”

“One misunderstanding that you may have… I’m not looking to antagonize you. I merely wish to build a friendship and become ‘good friends’. If my wealth met your capabilities… Can you see it? I could give you wings on your back.”

“Wealth?”

“Yes. I have amassed the greatest fortune in the southern part of the Radiant Kingdom. I have nothing to envy even from the nobles of the capital.”

As the conversation turned to money, Bilkos Monzo chattered excitedly.

But,

“A certain person, who shall remain nameless, has promised me all the gold in the world… Can you do the same?”

“All the gold in the world?”

“Perhaps even more.”

“Puha! Whoever told you such a tall tale, I don’t know, but all the gold in the world? It’s mere bluster unless you are the emperor. Heh. But I only speak of what I can deliver.”

Ah, is that so.

The man who promised me the world’s gold is the future emperor…

Now, who is delivering empty promises?

I only regret not being able to utter the name of the crown prince at this moment.

“Heh. Then, we shall speak seriously about ‘our proposal’…”

“Let’s correct one thing first.”

“..What’s that?”

“Was it not a threat, rather than a proposal?”

“Heh… A threat? Nonsense. It was simply a well-intentioned offer. Nothing more.”

The atmosphere cooled down.

Ardel produce’s market prices were set by whim, the money frozen.

The intent was to dry out my fief and make me Monzo’s protective sorcerer…

“…Not a threat, you say?”

These uncomfortable feelings slowly radiated from me.

I looked straight at Bilkos Monzo and asked,

“Well then. What if I reject that ‘proposal’?”

Bilkos Monzo,

Well-versed in such ‘bargaining’, he does not flinch,

“Heheh… Then, that would be regrettable. Even if I wanted to value our friendship and offer you a higher price, there’s nothing I can do if you reject it. You are the one kicking away the feast set before you.”

“The price for Ardel’s goods will remain as it is now. At ‘dirt cheap’ rates.”

Dirt cheap.

The value of the crops my people had sweated to cultivate over months…

To be treated like nothing more than dirt.

“It would be in your best interest to simply revert to the original price.”

“Huh? Revert? You expect Bilkos Monzo to give in readily?”

I know.

I’ve seen how many so-called nobles, who are nothing but pigs in my time at the academy,

For six years, I’ve experienced countless of them.

And battled against them.

The lesson I learned is not to expect ‘repentance’ from these kinds and not to show any weakness.

Because the moment I give in, they will cast off their masks and reveal their vile true nature.

I know.

“Hey, you ignorant hick from Ardel.”

“…What?”

“Don’t take this trade lightly. The one who should be begging now is not me, it’s you, you brat!”

As I clenched my fist,

Bilkos Monzo stepped back, alarmed, and gestured with his hand.

“…Quickly, you bastards, come out!”

Then, dozens of guards—or rather, thugs disguised as guards serving as the boss’s private soldiers—filled the sitting room.

I looked at them and smirked.

“The second motto of the academy’s holiday oath. The use of magic is permitted if one feels threatened.”

“…What?”

“Gosh, how many are there?”

One, two, three, four…

Quite a crowd.

And all these people threaten me, holding sharp spears and swords.

What a situation…

“Are. You. Scared?”

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