Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 90

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Mightiest Melee Magician

Chapter 090 of “All Force Mage”

When I ran north from Ardel for about a week, I could finally cross the central border of the kingdom and enter the eastern regions. Unlike the southern areas, the roads here were wider and frequented by more people. Yes, a lot of people indeed. But what’s going on here?

“Say that again.”

“Pl-please let my sister go…”

“What? I can’t hear you! Speak up, you little wretch. Stop crying and say it again. What was that?”

“I-I am also a knight… If you don’t want to get into trouble, release my s-sister now!”

“I’m a knight too! If you don’t want trouble, let my sister gooooo!”

“Uhehehehehe!”

Broad daylight. How can there be a dispute, no, a kidnapping happening out here in such a busy street…?

Four men in their thirties, who look like troublemakers, are holding onto a woman in her early twenties, and there stands a boy my age, with a real sword drawn, confronting the ruffians. He demands they leave his sister alone. But…

“Don’t mock me! Let my sister go now…”

“You wretch!”

“…Ack!”

“Say it one more time. What was that? Someone’s a knight? You?”

Thud, thud! Thud thud!

A one-sided assault follows that belies the purpose of the drawn sword.

I surveyed my surroundings with a tsk.

One, two, three, four…

Around ten people are just watching as the boy is beaten, not one attempting to intervene. Not even calling for the city guards to handle the situation. Instead…

“…*chuckle*.”

There are even those who watch and chuckle among the crowd.

No matter how much the modern world prides itself on not meddling in the affairs of others…

This is excessive, isn’t it?

I am neither a herald of justice nor a guardian responsible for the area’s security. I’m really nothing special here, but still, I stopped my horse and dismounted.

Then, pushing my way through the bystanders, I intervened in the situation.

“I don’t know what’s going on but why don’t we stop here?”

At this point, a certain reply is expected.

One… two, three.

“What? Who are you…?”

“You want to know who I am? Yeah, I guessed as much. Isn’t it always the same with you grown-ups? Right?”

I too had my time as a renowned brawler in the Academy. Back then, I grew up in many fights, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that scums like Mikel Gerihill and these hooligans are no different.

So similar that it sends shivers down my spine.

I helped the fallen boy to his feet and addressed the thugs who looked at me in shock.

“It doesn’t matter who I am. How about we end this? What’s the point of adults like you bullying a child?”

“What are you, a city guard?”

“No.”

“Then what, are you his friend?”

“No.”

“This brat must be joking! So what’s it to you then?”

Well, if they put it that way, I’m speechless—

But who cares!

“I said it doesn’t matter who I am, and I already warned you to stop. If you continue, I won’t just stand idly by.”

“Ha…”

Ruin Ardel.

16 years old.

Though I’m a mage who’s been through thick and thin.

To those unaware, I’m nothing more than a mere child.

“Pfft… Pffhahaha! What did this little brat just say? He won’t stand idly by if we keep doing this?”

“Hey, kid. Trying to act like some sort of knight of justice… If you don’t want to die, keep moving along the road. I’m warning you now, if you keep meddling in our business, I won’t stay put either.”

“Uhehehehe!”

Not only the hoodlums.

An old man watching the situation from behind also chimed in.

“Young master. Just as these guys said, stop meddling in others’ affairs and go your own way. If you get on the wrong side of these ‘Bark-Skull Gang’ fellows around here, you’ll be in deep trouble.”

“That’s right. Seems like you’re of noble birth… These guys are vicious, they don’t discriminate between nobles and commoners.”

Bark-Skull Gang?

What’s that?

A kids’ club name?

Now that I think about it, all four of the thugs are wearing the same brown clothing.

And on the back, there’s a picture of a skull placed over the stump of a tree.

Apparently, they’re some local gang of lowlifes.

I abruptly asked the old man behind me.

“What’s the date today?”

“Hmm? The 25th.”

The 25th.

It’s roughly a day and a half to the Academy from here, so do I have about two days’ leeway?

“That so. What are all of you doing here then?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Not trying to stop this. Not trying to save this child. Just watching? Even as he’s beaten to death?”

My words turned the faces of the bystanders, who had merely been watching, into something bitter and chewed-up.

Their eyes said, ‘Who are you to tell us what to do?’ But not a word came out of their mouths.

They knew to be ashamed.

You’re all the same breed of humans.

During my time at the Academy, I disliked the ones laughing and egging on more than those like Mikel Gerihill who outright provoked trouble.

“Well then, since there’s no issue, please leave. Shoo. Shoo. Go on now.”

I chased the bystanders away and grabbed the boy by the arm.

The message was to get out of here quickly…

“…I don’t need help. So you go too.”

His eyes swollen from the beating, the boy refused to move a step and stood resolutely, glaring at the thugs.

Ah, right.

This boy has a sister to protect.

“Let go of my sister this instant.”

“…Ha. This persistent little brat. Making us out to be the bad guys again. Isn’t this happening because your sister didn’t pay us back?”

“That… That debt was taken out by our father! Why are you exploiting my s-sister to…”

“If your dad had the ability to pay off the debt, would I need to do this?”

“I-I will pay it off! Once I become a knight, I’ll pay back everything, including interest…”

“Pfhehehe! A knight? You? A whelp like you who can’t even stand up against the four of us will pay back the debt by becoming a knight? Even the passing dogs would laugh. Why should I wait when selling off your sister would solve it all quickly?”

I’m getting the gist of the situation now.

Money.

It’s always money that starts these things.

“If, if you sell off my sister… I’ll really kill you…”

Suddenly, I became curious about what kind of person this boy was.

He appears to be my age but holds a ‘real sword,’ not a wooden one.

However, he doesn’t seem to be of noble birth.

From his own claim of being a ‘knight,’ it seems he might be an apprentice knight from a nearby territory of commoner origin…

But for an apprentice knight, he’s embarrassingly weak.

Even now, his hands, holding the real sword, are shaking, and his legs seem ready to give out.

Yet…

‘His eyes are good, aren’t they?’

His eyes carry a commendable courage.

He’s facing what he knows is terror in flesh, but has the bravery to stand against it.

That’s not an easily obtained look.

The eyes of someone with something precious to protect.

And, it’s the kind I like.

Eyes that could grow strong.

I suddenly wondered about the ‘true worth’ of this boy.

Which is why, I slightly provoked him.

“Protect her.”

“…What?”

“It’s your sister, right? So don’t just flap your lips, protect her.”

My words fueled a fiercer look in the boy’s eyes.

But that’s as far as it goes.

‘Violence,’ which he’s already experienced, quickly ties down his feet.

“Can’t you do it? Yeah, it’s difficult to overcome that fear once you’ve tasted blows. If you really can’t make it, should I help?”

“What are you? Why do you keep talking to me…”

“You don’t need to know that, but I assure you, I’m much stronger than you.”

“…Shut up. I don’t need your pity.”

“Is that so? Then show me.”

“Is that fear you feel so precious? More so than enduring their mockery and protecting your sister?”

You’ll regret it immensely if you lose your sister.

So…

“Destroy it. That wall. Once it’s down, it’s nothing.”

“…!”

As I finished, the boy’s eyes changed.

Instantly, he charged at the thugs with his sword.

The boy shattered the wall.

Good eyes.

He showed the courage worthy of them.

However, unfortunately, that did not translate into skill.

“Is this the level of apprentice knights in Foldren? Is some weakling supposed to become a knight? What a joke.”

“If this brat is a knight, does that make me a Sword Master? Uhehehehe!”

“Step on him! Crush him so he can’t get up again!”

The boy was once again tossed to the ground.

And then followed the sister’s screams.

There’s something I admired though.

He kept taking countless kicks, but his eyes remained untainted by fear.

I decided.

I would help the boy who didn’t think he needed any help.

Crack!

I gave a light tap on the forehead of the nearest thug…

“…Keeeuukk…”

The man twirled a full 360 degrees and tumbled backward.

“I told you. If you keep this up, I will not just stand and watch.”

Snap.

I flicked my fingers once more.

A fierce wind blasted forth, mercilessly striking the thugs.

“Ma-mage?”

That was his last word.

Bang

Swept up by the powerful gust, he flew and hit his head against a tree, knocking himself out cold.

“This bastard!”

None of these guys had truly experienced or faced a real mage before; they recklessly charged at me.

I should have warned them beforehand.

If you find yourself with a mage as your enemy, be sure to run away.

I snapped my fingers again, and one of the charging thugs was lifted into the air.

I relentlessly smacked his midriff.

He dropped to the ground, drooling.

That left only one.

“Hmm.”

“Oh, d-don’t come any closer!”

The guy, gripped by terror, stumbled backward as if seeing a ghost.

It’s not a good look.

At least.

“…Who the hell are you?”

Rather than that fear, the awe-struck eyes of this boy looking up at me are much more to my liking.

With a slight smile, I answered the boy.

“Ruin Ardel.”

“…Ru-Ruin… Ardel?”

Then, the boy’s expression changed.

He clearly recognized my ‘name.’

And the answer to this riddle was already out there.

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