The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 46

Episode 46

Among the four adventurers hired as bodyguards, Rain had the lowest rank. Since the other three were all Silver-ranked adventurers.

Lancer Willis.

Rogue Brien.

Wizard Yanar.

While they were exceptional fighters, they seemed a notch below Bart and Rem, who were of the same rank. However, according to the adventurers, it was due to those two lacking in contributions (as they were relatively new) despite their superior skills.

After introducing themselves, we comfortably rode the carriage back to , where I met the captain of the family’s guard at the inn.

“I am Captain Bardwell. I heard that the miss personally hired you all on the spot, so your abilities are surely beyond doubt,” he said with a stern look but was exceedingly kind-hearted.

“…”

“The mission is simple: escort the miss during her visit to , while staying in , and finally, while participating in ‘s black market.”

Despite his irritable demeanor, he was a gentle person. Bardwell glanced outside and then added, “You do realize this involves some illegal activities, right?”

“Of course.”

“But it’s better to be fully prepared. Although the order has been overlooking things, this time there might be some trouble, rumor has it.”

It was probably because of the inquisition organization ‘Golden Children’. Perhaps the Magical Special Forces would be stirring the pot for the same reason.

– Rain Ludwig Wijesekera.

The thought of that sly man approaching with dark intentions did make me slightly anxious… Ah, but what could go wrong, really?

“Is there anyone among you who wants to buy something from the black market?”

“I do.”

“Rain, is it? Purchase it with your own money. Of course, if the price is the same or lower than your remuneration, we can pay for it instead.”

No need for that.

I have brought enough money with me.

Following a few more minor details, as Rain couldn’t suppress a yawn, Bardwell concluded the conversation.

“We’ve rented the whole inn, so you can sleep in any room you want. We leave first thing tomorrow morning.”

“How long will the journey take?”

“If all goes as planned, we will return here in 9 days. Are we done? Then you’re dismissed.”

* * *

Ludwig family mansion in Belruin.

A heavy silence had fallen over the small banquet hall where the family would have their casual meals.

Sitting at the head of the lavishly prepared dining table was an uncommon sight – Skalgi Ludwig himself, with his son and daughter-in-law to his right and Seri and Bran to his left.

“Now, read it once again.”

The four-year-old Bran Ludwig, who had been sucking on his fingers, turned his gaze to the letter and began to mumble with his small mouth.

“Le, Lein Ludwig git choojunggoda soojungs seongdo ro nakjeumdoe-eosseummida.”

“Now, Seri, you go ahead and read it.”

“Rain Ludwig has been designated as the top student of the midterm exams.”

The expression on Skalgi’s face, as he fixed his gaze upon a candle while gripping it tightly, was grim. Yet, the next moment, a slight smirk appeared, leaking into a chuckle.

“Huhuhu.”

“Hmmhmm.”

“Heehee.”

Not just Skalgi, but Kaven, Brim, and Seri also began to giggle. Once Kaven clapped his hands, the banquet hall lit up brightly.

The entire household staff and guards, already seated among tables laden with extravagant dinners, began to applaud in unison.

“Congratulations, master!”

“Congratulations, lord!”

“Congratulations, madam!”

This was a celebration.

Upon hearing the news that Rain became the top student, Skalgi hurriedly returned to Belruin mansion from Rivarden Magic School. It was his first return home in 19 years.

While enjoying the hearty applause, Skalgi raised his hand to quiet down the crowd.

“Enjoy to your heart’s content! Great credit goes to all of you who have earnestly supported Rain to grow up so well.”

Today, the Ludwig family staff was not busy in the banquet hall; instead, day laborers rushed back and forth, cooking and serving drinks.

As the noise of clattering dishes filled the hall, Kaven gave a hearty laugh.

“I was thinking that with Warden’s third daughter and the likes being formidable contenders this time, it might not be an easy feat for Rain to secure the top spot, but it appears I was mistaken.”

“Why are you getting so serious about something so obvious?”

“Is that so?”

“My concern was Marhena, the examiner, given our shared history, but luckily personal grudges weren’t part of the grading, it seems.”

“Really? I heard you two were good friends since your school days…”

The conversation had just begun when Brim cautiously engaged his father-in-law, who had hardly had a proper conversation with anyone before Seri interrupted.

“Grandfather, when I go to ,ERGY, I’ll also become the top student! Just like my brother!”

Currently, Seri was the top student in the intermediate class at Rivarden Magic School. She was being hailed as a prodigy, another to follow in Krista’s footsteps.

Naturally, as someone who learned magic from Rain, whenever Seri heard such murmurs, she’d get annoyed and insist they correct themselves, saying she’s a prodigy following in her brother’s footsteps…

Watching his exceptional granddaughter, Skalgi laughed heartily.

“Ahahaha! Of course. You’re of my Skalgi bloodline. Just like Rain, you will be an asset that brings glory to our family name!”

He then bestowed a warm smile upon Brim.

“Having such wonderful grandchildren is largely thanks to you. Indeed, you are worthy of being the Ludwig family’s daughter-in-law.”

The surge of emotion welling up inside Brim at that moment was… indescribable.

Feeling her eyes moisten, Brim bowed her head for a moment and then discreetly left her seat.

Kaven went to look for her after a while, and upon finding her in the mansion’s corridor, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief, he noticed her eyes were damp.

“On such a joyous occasion, why the tears?”

“It’s a first for me.”

“?”

“Today was the first time father-in-law called me daughter-in-law.”

Brim was a lady from a fallen baronet family, of low rank and without wealth. There was an unbridgeable social gap between her and Kaven, an heir of a powerful family.

Thus, Skalgi, who was looking for a suitable bride from royal blood or a similar powerful magical family, vehemently opposed the marriage to Brim.

However, as his son remained unswervingly determined, Skalgi eventually said, “You’re no longer my son.”

Leaving behind a chilly remark that “they are not of my kin,” he had departed the mansion…

“I’ve always felt sorry. Because of me, you ended up with… your relationship with your esteemed father compromise. He was also your mentor.”

“…”

“I often wonder, if I had not come into your life, whether by now you might have married some highborn and still been on good terms with your father.”

Kevan chuckled as he approached Brim, nodding his head.

“Of course, that might have been the case. The Princess of Sayon was quite lovely, after all, she might have been my wife by now.

“…!”

“But if that had happened, Rain would not have been part of my life, nor Seri, nor Bran. All those children are gifts you brought into our family. Father acknowledged that too.”

Under the moonlight shining through the arch windows, Kevan pressed his lips to the back of Brim’s hand. A muffled cry escaped from Brim’s lips.

“Don’t cry over such things. The child’s life is just beginning. Think of all the wonderful gifts yet to await us.”

* * *

The journey to was not a difficult one. All they had to do was follow the Sun Highway that cut through the southern empire, heading southwest.

The escort adventurers traveled in pairs, leading and tailing the procession.

Rain was eagerly awaiting her turn with the mage Yarnar… and that time came during the first night’s watch.

“You want me to teach you sound magic?”

“Yes, yes! It’s not something you can learn just anywhere.”

“This might be impolite to say, but without a sense of music, sound magic is useless. It’s a bit difficult for me to teach…”

“It’s okay if I can’t use it. I’m just too curious about the principle behind it.”

Rain’s eyes sparkled with innocence as she eagerly nodded her head, looking quite adorable.

Yarnar carefully cleared her throat before responding.

“My geomungo has four strings, each producing a different sound. The first string plucked decides the magical matrix.”

The first string was water, the second fire, and so on. Each string represented an element.

“The vibration of the hands, the vibration of the strings produce runes, and combinations of melodies create mathematical formulas. It’s hard to explain with words…”

“You mean to say you calculate mathematics while performing music? That’s incredible!”

“No. Otherwise, all sound magicians would be of the Yorhen type, right? There are methods of playing that sing mathematical equations.”

Suddenly, Yarnar’s eyes shone with intensity, and a clear, round melody floated through the night forest.

“This is a linear function. This is a quadratic, and this relates to cubic equations.”

Wow… this is an utterly nonsensical method. Even with an explanation, it’s unfathomable.

During my time at Lin, I had considered researching this but promptly gave up upon realizing how difficult it was to comprehend from just a book.

Yeah, I’ll pass on the Rigwind type. I always wanted to try it, but I’m tone-deaf, so it’s a lost cause.

“What are you both discussing so cheerfully?”

Hirpian approached at that moment.

He seemed quite tired from the journey (he had chatted all day next to the adventurers without riding the carriage) and stretched with a yawn.

Yarnar stopped her playing and replied politely.

“I was just sharing a little bit about music magic.”

“Really? Could you play a lullaby for me? I’m so sleepy.”

“I can’t play a lullaby, but… I’ll play a magic that keeps beasts away and discreetly alerts us to intruders.”

Spearman Willis then whistled.

“Please do, mage lady.”

“Music, eh? Though we’re camping out, it’ll make for a comfortable sleep.”

Bandit Brien covered himself with his cloak like a blanket and remarked.

Amid everyone’s expectant glances, Yarnar, feeling a bit embarrassed, began to elegantly strum the strings.

“Ah…”

Comforted by the pleasant melodies, Rain felt a cozy warmth in her heart. A new zeal for exploration tingled through her mind.

“The world of magic is vast and expansive.”

There’s still so much magic I don’t know about, still such a wide horizon of knowledge I have not yet seen.

“The world of knowledge, truly, there’s never a dull moment… No end to learning.”

* * *

It was a place where only the starlight seeped through the crevices in the ceiling, casting a ghastly light. Inside, the murky veil revealed ancient Albrazeem style statues weeping tears.

The Albrazeem style refers to the art from an era of Tersian calendar prehistory when the lords of the Abyss ruled the world.

This was a forgotten temple of kings beyond the reach of the Three Divine Dragons… and currently a hideout for the ‘Golden Children’ and the Sorcery Department’s Secret Service was after the ‘Crows’.

“So?”

Mellifluous yet alluring voice echoed through the heady smoke of ancient incense.

“There’s no trouble with the school side. In about half a year, ‘Number One’ will graduate as valedictorian. The operation to secure Lin’s corpse will be flawless.”

In that moment, the magic energy that filled the area twisted and surged like a chilling gale. As the smoke cleared, the grandeur of the woman seated at the high seat began to emerge faintly.

“A corpse?”

Her hair, once holding the azure of the heavens, had been dyed dark by the abyss… Yet her striking features upon her bronzed skin held an ethereal beauty.

“I apologize, Tureina. Please forgive me.”

The man, realizing his slip, quickly pressed his forehead to the ground. The lady exhaled a puff of smoke, and the suffocating surge of magical energy simmered down.

“What about the situation with ?”

Only then did the man carefully raise his blood-trickled forehead.

“Number Three and Six are on the move.”

“Rebeny is going, is she?”

“Yes. She’ll secure the item, and given her nature, she’ll likely lead a massacre, which will effectively divert the ‘Golden Children’ and Special Forces’ attention. Your approval, Tureina, is all that’s required.”

Enshrouded in thick incense smoke once again, the woman drew in a drag from her golden-dragon-etched ancient pipe.

Sigh…

Whether it was a sigh of hesitation or merely an exhale of smoke, only she knew. Within that sigh, she answered.

“Tell them they have my permission to do as they please.”



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