The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 166

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin

Chapter 166: Unveiling the Truth (3)

Royal Hall, second floor, end of the left corridor.

The remaining warmth had now completely dissipated from the room.

Only the loneliness and starkness of the ownerless space filled the void.

-Clang

Strangers came looking for the ownerless space.

The first to enter the room was the vice-principal of the academy, Satwell Iris.

Not only academy officials but also several members of the Garam Scholars Guild draped in blue capes began to search the room, as if they had agreed beforehand, dividing their areas of investigation.

Despite the intense investigation, there appeared to be no significant findings, and soon everyone gathered back in the living room.

Somehow, in consultation, a large white parchment was spread on the floor by the Garam Scholars, like a carpet.

Satwell, with a severe expression, stepped onto it.

After taking a deep breath, she began to channel mana and draw something onto the parchment.

It was a magic circle for casting high-level magic.

“In front of the light of the holy truth, nothing can be hidden, reveal the traces of hidden darkness!”

As she murmured the incantation in a low voice, the magic circle responded with light.

The magic circle resonated and emitted a copious amount of magical energy.

It seemed that footstep-like traces began to emerge from the floor, but then—

-Poof

It went out like a flame extinguished almost immediately.

Startled, Satwell tried to channel mana once more, but—

“……”

The result was no different from before. Two hypotheses could be deduced from this situation.

Either there was no trace to be found, or someone had magically concealed any traces from detection.

And everyone, including Satwell, thought the latter was the case.

This meant that even the magic of the Vice-Principal, Satwell Iris, known as the next most powerful mage after Chancellor Condor of the academy, was not powerful enough to find the traces of powerful magic lingering in this space.

With a hardened face, Satwell turned to everyone and said,

“It seems my powers alone won’t be sufficient. I’ll need your help.”

Without questioning, the people present began to manifest their mana just as she had done.

Then, a greater resonance than before occurred within the magic circle, and finally, proper traces began to appear from the location where the magic circle was drawn.

“It seems it’s not too far from here.”

The traces led to a city not far from the academy.

* * *

The streets were chaotic, as if some spectacle had happened.

The crowd had gathered in front of a bulletin board where wanted posters were hung.

“This is the end of days, the end. Who knows where this country is headed……”

“What’s so unsatisfying about this peaceful era that they resort to such outrageous behavior? Even gnawing their bones wouldn’t be enough for such scum!”

“Surely they’re not hiding in our city?”

As they viewed the wanted posters, people spit out curses and fear.

Then, Brian, who happened to pass by the billboard, stopped in his tracks.

With his face partly concealed by his cloak, he inspected the wanted poster with restrained eyes.

Ignoring the despicable criminals who committed horrendous, valueless crimes of rape, abduction, and murder, the most noteworthy wanted poster was now confronting Brian.

The core figure behind the recent assassination cases of nobles.

The instigator of the bloody banquet incident.

The perpetrator who summoned a giant magical beast in Aexilium.

What was more shocking was that the owner of the wanted poster, guilty of crimes too atrocious even to mention, was the son of a noble family, respected throughout the empire.

The infamous youngest son of the Vert family, the guardians of the continent.

“Yo, Young Master……?”

It was none other than Sian Vert himself.

“Look, look over there!”

A man’s shout shifted everyone’s attention in the same direction.

“Th, the imperial knights?”

Knights in shining gold armor, ones you rarely see outside the capital, from the Royal Guard.

Not just one or two, but by rough estimate, there seemed to be well over a hundred, a considerable force that appeared in Brenu.

As everyone was distracted by the unexpected arrival of the imperial knights, Brian furiously tore down Sian’s wanted poster and bolted from the spot.

-Clang

Then, like a raging bear, he rushed home, locked the door behind him, and immediately secured all entrances, including the windows.

“Why, why are you acting so sudden?”

Emily, patiently waiting for him, asked with a bewildered face.

“We, we’re in big trouble……!”

Short of breath, Brian handed over the wanted poster he had brought to Emily.

“Why a wanted poster? Is there some terrible criminal here… eh?”

The moment she saw the wanted poster, Emily let out a shriek.

“Wha, what is this? Why is our Young Master on here?”

For Emily, it was an absurd and bewildering situation.

The listed crimes were so immense and unheard of that the bounty was almost equivalent to the annual operation budget of a sizable region, boldly written in red ink below the poster.

“Young Master, what on earth have you been doing out there?”

Sian had abruptly left the academy, leaving only the three of them behind in Brenu, and now he had vanished somewhere else.

He had said that if they just quietly remained, there’d be no problem, but now a calamity had occurred that seemed much worse than he had assured.

Emily thought to herself that they could never return to Belias now.

“Really, I can’t live because of the Young Master!”

She felt like screaming her frustration to the mountaintops.

“Wait! What about us? Can we just stay here and be fine?”

“Of, of course, we can’t just boldly sit here and feel safe. Though I don’t know why, the imperial knights are here now. We should at least take Nana and find a safer place to hide for the time……”

“No! Forget us, we must first check on the Young Master’s safety! Who knows what might be befalling him right now! If he were to find himself in a dire situation……”

“Ah, about that, you really don’t have to worry……”

-Clang!

Suddenly, the door to one side of the living room burst open.

Nana, who had woken up, had come out from the room.

“Li, little one. Why are you awake?”

Considering the time, it wasn’t when she usually woke up from her nap.

Brian and Emily wouldn’t just assume she had woken up early by chance.

Because the eyes of Nana right now were not her usual innocent eyes upon waking up from sleep, expressing her hunger. Her eyes were bloodshot and in a significantly dangerous state.

“It’s strange. It’s not even time for dinner……”

Brian’s back broke into cold sweat as memories of the past resurfaced.

“It smells delicious. Why?”

Nana spoke the word ‘smell’ and grinned, revealing her teeth,

“Just when she’s about to cause some big trouble again! Don’t smell anything!”

Emily quickly ran and pinched Nana’s nose shut.

Gradually, Nana’s bloodshot eyes began to return to their original state.

But just because she couldn’t smell anything didn’t mean the problem was solved.

“……!”

Suddenly sensing an unfamiliar presence, Brian quickly drew his sword.

-The sound of a drawn sword was followed by deafening silence, filled with nothing but the sound of breaths and beating hearts.

Amidst the tense atmosphere, only the door was fixed in Brian’s gaze.

-Step step

The faint trace of footsteps coming closer, not just passing by coincidentally, but heading straight for this place.

The problem was that it was not just one or two.

The sound of at least a dozen people’s footsteps seemed to surround the house from every direction.

-Crack crack

Soon after the footsteps stopped, a bizarre sound followed.

It sounded like someone was scraping a sound wall with their hands—a remarkably noisy sound. But putting the noise itself aside, one had to think about why such a sound would be made under the current circumstances.

Brian closed his eyes and recalled something Sian had once told him.

If, while cooped up in this house, you suddenly hear strange sounds like walls being scratched,

it means that the protective ward set up around the perimeter is collapsing due to depleted magical power, and you should at least infuse a little mana to maintain its shape.

He had told them to just keep this in mind as he would be returning before that time occurred.

However, Brian understood.

This was not the natural sound of a failing ward disintegrating on its own.

This was the sound of strange individuals surrounding the house, forcibly breaking the protective ward by infusing it with magic.

He had been complacent.

The moment he saw the wanted poster, he should have evacuated Emily and Nana immediately.

Even if he didn’t know the identities of those outside,

Brian knew for sure that they wouldn’t show them a pleasant outcome.

“Run away with Nana through the back door!”

“Huh? What about you?”

“I’ll follow soon after. First, we must deal with the current situation……”

“What nonsense are you saying? Do you think you are some kind of last knight? It’d be better to admit flat out that you want to die a dog’s death alone!”

“It’s not exactly like that……”

Brian hesitated to deny, feeling that it might not be appropriate to do so.

Though her words were rough, Emily wasn’t wrong.

But what to do?

If they stayed put, they would all end up in a bad situation.

Wouldn’t it be better to throw himself into the fray to allow the other two to escape?

Just like Sian would have done.

-Scratch

The urgent bickering of the two was soon interrupted by a very familiar sound beyond the door.

-Scratch, thud, scratch

The sound came not from a human mouth but was a sharp, nerve-wracking cutting noise followed by the silent collapse of bodies without a single scream.

Though not visible, the gruesome yet familiar scene played vividly in Brian’s mind.

-Thump

“……”

Another dull thud was followed by silence.

Caught in an ambiguous atmosphere, unable to act or retreat, and as Brian approached the door to check the situation,

“Open the door.”

The indifferent yet familiar voice came from the other side.

As if responding to the command, Brian quickly unlocked the door and pushed it open,

“Do…”

“Papa!”

Before the word “Young Master” could fully escape, Nana had already rushed out and plunged into his arms.

About to naturally stroke her hair, the boy paused as he noticed the blood on his hand.

“Sorry. I got held up a bit.”

His usual demeanor was neither flustered nor entirely relaxed as he gazed upon them with an indifferent emotion.

Behind him lay the imperial knights, lifelessly scattered in the aftermath, as if Death himself had passed by.

(To be continued)

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