The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 48

Episode 48

Brien moved silently among the crowd, using the skills she had acquired from the thieves’ guild to examine the faces of the passersby attentively.

“Searching for dangerous individuals, huh…”

As she walked around, she observed a variety of human life—from merchants energetically attracting customers to prostitutes and gigolos dressed provocatively, ready to sell their bodies.

“Frankly, looking for dangerous people inside is almost meaningless.”

Where else is this place but the headquarters of the five thieves’ guilds that dominate the empire?

In case of emergency, they even dispatch the Daedos from the thieves’ guild, the five formidable figures known as Obungyeong.

It was also the place where she had learned her skills as a child. Lost in these vague memories, she suddenly caught a whiff of a strong scent of blood.

“…?”

When she kicked off the wall and jumped up onto the rooftops, the center of the chaos came into view. About thirty thieves had surrounded a man and a woman.

─Those are the ones!

─They’ve got some nerve. Do they know where they are and still dare to make trouble?

To the leader’s question, a woman cloaked in an ominous dark blue robe gave a grim laugh.

─A place where I can kill plenty of garbage like you?

─You son of a…

In the next moment, although the thieves tasked with upholding law and order were no ordinary folks, Brien couldn’t believe the nightmare unfolding before her eyes.

─Ahhh, ahhhhhh!

─Save me… Aaahh!

It was simply unbelievable. How could so many be slaughtered in an instant… Just as she was about to return to her companions to warn them of the danger, a bloody hand suddenly burst through her chest.

“I’m sorry, but our orders are to kill all witnesses.”

How did he manage to get to her so quickly? A sensation that was both hot and cold spread throughout her body.

The man in the dark blue robe pulled his arm back, and with a wet rip, a still-beating heart was pulled out of her chest, trailing veins and arteries.

Brien collapsed into a pool of her own blood, and the light faded from her eyes which hadn’t even managed to perceive the danger before it was too late.

* * *

The pandemonium began with the tearing screams, that started when a soldier came with good news.

“Found it?”

Hirpien looked incredulous. The soldier nodded vigorously.

“Yes! No doubt about it. Although it was worn out, the inscription was definitely there.”

“In which way? Raised or engraved?”

“Engraved.”

Elated, Hirpien covered her mouth with both hands, then bounded up and kissed the soldier on the cheek before turning her gaze to Bardwell.

“Let’s go immediately, Bardwell!”

“Of course, miss.”

While Willys and Rain exchanged smiles, someone rushed over in haste.

“You mustn’t go that way!”

It was the magician Yanar, who had been providing long-range support from the high ground. However, his face was drenched in sweat, and his breathing rough.

“What is it, why are you like this?”

“Just now, those not of sound mind appeared there… I saw a Gold-ranked adventurer get killed in one blow!”

What kind of nonsense is that? Willys chuckled and told him to stop joking, but then a scream that seemed to tear through the eardrums filled the underground city.

─No, nooooo!

At a glance in that direction, an image that made his head go completely blank seared into Rain’s retina.

Dozens of people seemed to be caught by invisible hooks, thrown into the air, and then violently crushed.

Amidst the crunching of fat and the bursting of ribcages, entrails and vomit poured out like rain.

In an instant, the underground city had turned into a psychotic battlefield. People seized by fear began to scream and scatter.

‘That’s…’

Rain swallowed hard.

His heart pounded wildly. A myriad of thoughts were chaotically crisscrossing in his mind.

‘Telekinesis? No, that’s not it… Telekinesis enhanced with such a brutal killing intent…’

The answer was clear the moment he witnessed the power, but his refusal to accept reality delayed the conclusion.

‘Black Magic.’

Had the black magician followed me here? After just watching during the queen’s incident, why now? Waited until I was away from Delaiten?

“No, don’t go there, it’s really dangerous!”

“So I’ll go alone. Bardwell, take the guards and withdraw first. I’ll be quick and go there alone.”

“It’s no use, miss. Please, let me guard you until the end!”

“Don’t! I won’t put everyone in danger because of my stubbornness. And moving together would only make us more conspicuous and dangerous.”

By the time he regained his senses with a deep breath, he saw the group arguing in a frenzied crowd. Hirpien was assuring them, standing tall with confidence.

“Who do you think I am? I’ve reached the Bronze rank on my own. Do not worry.”

“Like the guards would say ‘Yes, okay’ and let you go if you die? They might all be beheaded back at the house.”

Willys made a sarcastic remark. The clamor had grown so intense that communication wasn’t possible without shouting.

“In that case, I’ll go.”

RAIN said it calmly, and all eyes suddenly focused on him.

While Willys looked at him disapprovingly, Hirpien appeared touched by the arrival of a strong ally.

‘Don’t look at me like that. The last thing I want to do is go…’

But hadn’t Hirpien bought him a book worth seven gold coins? As an investment in their relationship. That debt had to be repaid… it was simply a matter of settling a debt.

“I’ll go alone. If you come, to be honest, you’ll only be in the way.”

One soldier who knew the location of the music box was enough to accompany him. But Hirpien shook her head vigorously.

“I must go too.”

“It’s dangerous. Just give me the money.”

Though the seller might have already fled, there was still a price to be paid.

“I understand it’s my insistence. But even knowing that, I must go.”

“I need to confirm whether it’s set up or not, so I must go.”

The resolve shining in Hirpien’s eyes was unwavering; it seemed futile to try and persuade her otherwise.

“Alright, then follow closely and be careful.”

“I’ll protect you from the side… after all, that’s what I am contracted to do.”

As Yanar moved to stand beside Hirpien, the spearman Willis sighed heavily, scratching his head in irritation before stepping forward.

“Damn it! Now I’ll be the bad guy if we do this. Fine! Let’s go! We just grab the stuff and get out quickly!”

Once they had broken through the madness, an eerie silence fell around them.

A soldier, pale with terror, guided them with labored breaths, while Willis dashed ahead, picking out detours by sensing the presence of enemies.

And when they turned the final corner the soldier pointed to… the brutally slashed bodies were strewn across the streets, already swarming with clouds of flies.

“Ugh…”

“Is this the place? Is it here?”

Hirpien’s eyes darkened with despair, and Lain watched silently. Then Willis kicked a body over.

“This one’s still alive.”

Despite being soaked crimson with blood, the insignia on the uniform clearly belonged to a guard of the Diarle family. Hirpien inhaled sharply before rushing over.

“Hey, Jackie. Are you alright?”

“Ah, my lady… I’m, I’m sorry…”

And with trembling fingers, he presented something he had been clutching dearly to Hirpien.

“When the master was escaping… somehow I managed to grab this… but it’s all covered with my blood…”

Lain could see poisonous dark blue miasma writhing in the guard’s chest wound, its corrupting fingers turning the surrounding flesh to necrosis.

It was the product of black magic, a dark poison.

As the poison began to erode the vicinity of the heart, it was clear that there was no saving this guard… Hirpien began to sob as she took the music box.

“There’s no time to cry!”

Willis quickly wrapped his torn shirt around the soldier’s wound and heaved him onto his shoulder. Just then, a squishy shadow loomed overhead.

“What’s this, still so many left?”

It was a woman’s voice, playful, yet the power of magic interwoven within it was undeniable… Lain instinctively stepped in front of the group.

“I’ll handle this; the rest of you get out.”

“What are you saying, we should─”

“─I said I’ll handle it, go!”

The heartbeat started thrashing wildly. A vivid and intense sign of life’s last traces… A single mistake would now lead to death.

It was a presence like the blade of a knife held to their face, a powerful malice, the kind that one experiences when truly facing death.

Battling a monster like this while trying to protect others would be extremely challenging for Lain at that moment. The eyes of the woman called Livani curved like a crescent moon.

“You think you can handle me? How funny. You lot underestimate me?”

A moment of fierce silence, then about 12 meters between them. Lain’s forehead beaded with cold sweat.

In an instant.

The dark blue poison in the woman’s hand coalesced into the shape of a scythe, slashing through the air with a cascading laugh.

“The sins of assistance afloat in the air, in the name of Lou. Upon my command, Livani, let the dance of slaughter begin here.”

High-speed incantation of a 2-star curse…!

The witches of the Republic, like this one, used such incantations to imbue everything under the heavens with the power of runes and perform miracles.

Ting, the runes of assistance (助) and Lou (樓) glistened and rose into the void, and at that moment, a wave of intense power crashed forward.

“Magical defense formation, 2-star.”

The shape of the magic formation: quadrilateral and triangle.

The runes carved: Whirl (渦), Rise (阧).

It conferred the characteristics of swirling and rising to a combination of earth and flame magic.

‘Hmm, high-speed computation of 2-star magic?’

In that moment of curiosity and surprise from Livani,

Kukugugugugu────!

The ground surged up like a barrage, and flames entwined in a whirlwind.

The black magic-enhanced magical waves clashed with the fiery wall, unleashing a tumultuous storm, a tempest splitting the ground, shattering windows, flaying the flesh…

Within that tempest, a scythe forged of poison struck against a magically reinforced staff countless times, the grating metal sound assailing the ears.

As the fog of shocks began to clear, Livani and Lain blinked at each other in disbelief, as if finding their predicament rather amusing.

‘Osarius-style staff technique… one of Osarius’s underlings?’

‘This guy… his scythe technique is just like my staff technique.’

Had someone from the Osarius school learned black magic?

But then, shouldn’t it be magic, not curses being used? Certainly, it was proved beyond a doubt that close combat was out of the question.

While I could merely suppress, a single hit from that scythe… that’s the terror of black magic.

“You’re incredibly strong, aren’t you?”

The woman named Livani remarked as if amused.

Lain took a deep breath.

Concentrate. The power of the runes pulsed painfully from his bandaged left hand.

‘If I use the power of these runes here and now, I could definitely…’

He was about to remove the glove from his left hand when the opportunity arose, but then Livani pushed back her hood. The face that appeared stopped his thoughts cold.

“Uh…?”

Her brown curly hair was much longer than he remembered, and the freckles scattered around her nose made her look ordinary, but it was identical.

‘No, how can this be…?’

It defied explanation, but to put it bluntly, she looked exactly like…

The past me… that is, ‘Lynn.’

Specifically, the way I looked when I was once forcibly dressed up by Rista and Friede.

‘An illusion…?’

But no, the light of Bel Sidious was now connected to my perception. It was an undeniable reality. My lips moved on their own, murmuring foolishly.

“Me, is that…?”



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