Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 85

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Mightiest Melee Magician

Chapter 085 of “The All-Powerful Sorcerer”

The eldest daughter of Bill Valtraz, the trade king of Eight-Lake.

Cecilia Valtraz.

On the first birthday when she turned seven.

In an age where she should have played without a care or worry, a terrifying reality struck.

A heavy burden too overwhelming to bear alone.

The death of her father, Bill Valtraz.

The girl who used to smile brighter than anyone had lost her laughter and had to become stronger to fill her father’s void.

And so,

She cursed the ‘calamity’ of South Mountain that had taken her father’s life.

《You have completed the quest.》

《As a reward, you receive the respect of the Valtraz family.》

The calamity is now dead.

It won’t erase all of the girl’s pain,

But perhaps, in time,

After wounds have healed,

She will find the pure smile befitting of her 10 years.

“What’s the plan now?”

“We can only wait longer.”

“Um, you only asked for a bit more time, and it’s already been three days. Didn’t they forget about Mr. Ruin, did they?”

Irene expressed her concerns, but I replied with a voice filled with conviction.

“No. They will definitely not forget.”

Three days.

It’s already been three days since we left the ‘Hall of Gold’ representing the Eight, returning to the inn.

Unexpectedly completing the quest of the ‘Silver Werewolf’s Mane’ in the Hall of Gold, I earned the Valtraz family’s respect, but that was it.

No firm answers were received regarding my purpose in visiting.

Cecilia Valtraz only kept asking for “just a little more time.”

Suddenly, after waiting silently for three days,

“It should be about time for them to contact us…

Just as Irene said, and I was starting to get a bit anxious,

Strange people entered the inn where we were staying.

“Mr. Ruin Ardel.”

“………Ah.”

They were the representatives of ‘Eight-Lake’ that I had been waiting for.

The people of the Valtraz family.

“I apologize for making you wait so long.”

“It’s okay. More importantly, is Miss Cecilia doing well?”

“Yes. She has improved a lot, thanks to you.

The delay in the response was because the representative took the time to mourn the former head of the household, hence the late reply.”

“I understand. So, what is the decision about my proposal?”

As I was about to head up to my room, the man halted me, saying,

“There’s no need for that.”

“Excuse me?”

“The representative has come in person.”

The girl peeked out from behind the Valtraz family’s horsemen.

Cecilia Valtraz.

“I apologize for making you wait so long. Please forgive my rudeness.”

Cecilia bowed sincerely, and the propriety this 10-year-old girl displayed was so perfect it almost felt alien.

Yet, it was merely uncomfortable like wearing clothes that did not suit her age.

The precariousness I felt when I first met Cecilia was gone.

Her expression seemed somewhat more relaxed.

I offered Cecilia a beaming smile.

“You’ve waited three years to send off your beloved father. This is by no means discourteous.”

“I have been through a similar situation.”

My mother.

Though her face has become a blur if I do not remember her through portraits,

The tragedy that happened on my sixth birthday remains vivid.

Cecilia opened her eyes wide in curiosity, but I chose not to speak further.

Instead,

“Would you like to sit down?”

I invited her to take a seat at the table.

However, conscious of prying eyes, she preferred to move elsewhere rather than the inn’s dining room.

We boarded the golden carriage of the Valtraz family.

I fully expected that we’d head to her private residence, but the destination turned out to be somewhere unexpected.

“It’s that mountain range.”

South Mountain.

It seemed as if Cecilia had decided to face the trauma of this land which had been taboo for her head-on.

By visiting South Mountain herself.

The land that had taken her father’s life.

She hesitated for a moment before stepping out of the carriage,

“Heave ho…………”

Resolved, she set foot on the soil of South Mountain.

Then she asked me,

“You mentioned crossing this place, didn’t you?”

“Yes. I ended up as an illegal immigrant, but I trust you’ll keep my secret.”

My joking tone had sincere intentions, but Cecilia did not laugh.

Perhaps she was not yet in the state of mind to do so.

She stared at South Mountain intensely for a while before speaking.

“If we make a road through South Mountain, it will create a direct trade route to the southern Radiant Kingdom of Ardel, and even to the western Sand Kingdom of Oyo Tak. If we continue sending carriages around the central region as we do now, it’s inefficient in terms of time and costs.”

“Yes. I agree.”

“Mentioning the road construction. Our Valtraz family will help you with it.”

“…………Really?”

This was an unexpected boon.

I had assumed that it would naturally be my burden to construct a road through South Mountain.

I had no significant funds available at the moment and had been considering it a future issue, but

With the help of the Valtraz family, this changes everything.

“……You accept my proposal then?”

“We will buy any goods produced in Ardel at a higher price than the market rate in Eight-Lake.”

Price above the market rate.

This was an incredibly generous offer, and as I hesitated momentarily,

Cecilia spoke first.

“My father, called the Trade King, once told me it’s okay if people call us cold-hearted. That trade is naturally like that. It’s better not to sell than to incur a loss.”

“But I am different from my father. I wanted to repay the savior of the Valtraz family proportionately. I wanted to promise trust and look forward to the future. That is why I have come here to say this to my father.”

At 10 years old.

A girl who had become an adult far too early.

Or rather, had to become an adult,

Cecilia Valtraz offered a handshake and said,

“I look forward to working with you in the future.”

♦ ♦ ♦

Everyone carries pain.

Today, Cecilia Valtraz faced head-on the ‘calamity’ that befell her, just as I once did.

On my sixth birthday, during the terrible nightmare that struck Ardel, when the mudmen occupied the Jinheung Plains and attacked en masse, reaching into the village itself.

Many people were killed or wounded,

And my mother was one of them.

By mere mudmen, of all things.

Was it not a pitifully senseless death?

But I was not given much time to grieve.

There were too many children who had lost parents on the day I lost my mother.

As the young head of Ardel, I had to muster the courage on behalf of these children.

That day, I made my first resolution.

To become stronger.

To become a sorcerer.

Never to allow the recurrence of that day’s nightmare in Ardel.

“It’s a relief everything worked out well.”

“……Indeed.”

Now, I have taken that first step.

Isn’t the first move always crucial?

Having successfully started, we left Eight-Lake and immediately returned to Ardel.

Being a familiar route, it took only half a day to traverse, as if reviewing the path slowly.

Indeed.

Another opportunity lay so close at hand.

“In a few years, can I expect a bustling Ardel?”

“Yes. Someday, I want to build a port, an independent market strong enough that it doesn’t depend on anywhere like Eight-Lake. Of course, it’s tough for now.”

“Hehe, I’m getting excited too.”

As I chattered excitedly, Irene

Looked at me and smiled gently.

“Looking at Mr. Ruin, it really seems you love this land.”

“Doesn’t everyone feel that way? Home is like that, right?”

“No. Not everyone does.”

Irene Frius.

Even if she said it as nothing significant,

The ‘pain’ hiding behind her voice,

I wanted to ask, but Irene chose to keep silent.

“I’ve brought up an unnecessary topic.”

“Can you tell me about it? There’s not much I know about you, Irene.”

“Yes. But some other time. Today is a happy day, right? We should hurry back and share the news.”

Right.

Some other time.

“Someday, if I get the chance, I’d also like to visit your homeland, Irene.”

Irene neither confirmed nor denied.

But somehow, I was certain.

Someday, a visit to ‘Frius’ was inevitable.

♦ ♦ ♦

Ardel’s dinner table was bustling for the first time in a long while.

Given the matters at hand, it was natural for all the core members leading the territory, including the executive officer Begins, to be involved.

“Hmm hmm. Now that everyone’s done eating, shall we listen to what our young master has to say?”

All eyes were on me, and I began to speak.

Naturally, the story began with South Mountain.

I discussed my encounters with the werewolves and my arrival in Eight-Lake, which caused quite a stir among the audience but proceeded smoothly.

The real concern was what followed.

“What? The two of you stayed together at the inn?”

“We had separate rooms.”

“Are you sure? Ruin, you didn’t possibly…”

Luina jumped in when the topic of the ‘inn’ came up, breaking the flow.

Understandably, everyone burst into laughter at Luina’s impulsive reaction, but Luina remained solemn, glaring at me.

What could this little one be thinking?

From this point on, the story had to be paused repeatedly.

“Did that cold-blooded representative of Valtraz really say that? To repay the debted kindness to Ardel?”

The story of the contract with ‘Eight-Lake’ caused executive officer Begins to interrupt.

“Work on the road through South Mountain will start this month? Is that true?”

“Yes. It is.”

“Creating a trade route connected directly to the Empire… It’s unbelievable.”

“What kind of magic did you use?”

“It’s not magic. It was just about building trust.”

That a ‘trade route’ was to be built through the mountain range treated as forsaken was a marvel to the elders.

“If a trade route opens, the western Oyo Ta will use it as well. Then, Ardel will become busy in turn.”

“That’s right. As the young master said, it’s only a matter of time before Ardel grows.”

There’s no longer any need nor reason to rely on the monopoly of Montjoy for southern Radiant trade.

Sure, I had to suddenly drop a huge amount of 30,000 gold to purchase weapons,

But if I regard it as an investment for a larger venture, it suffices.

“So, what’s the next plan? Young master.”

To executive officer Begins’ query, I replied,

“It’s time for preparation. For subjugation.”

Subjugation.

In the end, all plans culminate in war.

“Of course, it will require my father’s approval.”

My father’s permission.

As soon as those words were uttered, all eyes turned to my father.

After a long silence, he spoke,

“……You have grown up.”

This statement was laden with multiple meanings.

Most notably,

“Thank you. For growing up so splendidly.”

Gratitude.

And…

“There is no parent who can win against their child… Now there’s no reason to hold you back.”

It signified that he could no longer dissuade me.

And finally, one more thing.

“I feared war. Like that day, ten years ago… Afraid that we would lose everything again.”

A deep truth my father had long concealed,

In his words, there was that name.

“……Today, I particularly miss Meria.”

Meria.

The name of my mother, whose warmth remained vivid even if her face did not.

Lifting his cup, my father made a toast.

“To avenge all the loved ones.”

Vengeance.

And for the glory of Ardel.

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