That night, Professor hid in the industrial area that was in the northeastern part of Tobrune. The execution time of the plan he shared with Rakshasha started at 1 am. That was about an hour from now.
He did call it the industrial area, but it wasn’t some grand place with big factories. It was just a long row of shabby houses used as workshops, which sold things much closer to hand-made products.
This was the truth of Tobrune which became famous for its artifacts.
‘After these small workshops make the vessel of the artifact and engrave the pathways according to the given blueprint, they’re then delivered to the tower, and from there, the spell is engraved and the mana stone is put inside to complete it.’
Just from the explanation, it sounded like a pretty balanced operation, but the payment that went back to the people in the workshop was unbelievably low.
‘They barely gave enough to scrape by, but then they even took away most of that with the fee for using the soldering iron used in the crafting process.’
Even without this background knowledge, he could tell from the depressing aura of this place just how rough the life of people subcontracted with the tower was.
And at the end of this workshop road was where the facility Professor aimed to visit was located.
The closer he got to it, the sensation that sent a shiver through his spine became stronger.
‘I’ve come to the right place.’
There was an old wooden building that was basically attached to the northeastern walls of Tobrune. The most important part of this mission lay within that shack.
Professor scanned the area as he slowly approached the building.
‘To think that there was such an empty space in Tobrune, where the population density is so high that it’s hard for people to even walk through alleyways.’
In comparison to the densely packed buildings in the workshop region, this area with the wooden building that had a faint purple glow to it had not a single building near it. Somebody didn’t tell them to not live here. The people just naturally avoided this place.
‘Everyone prefers to avoid hazardous facilities.’
The building that Professor was standing in front of, the ‘Void Stone Repository,’ was one of those hazardous facilities.
The official term Void Stone made it sound fancy, but it was just industrial waste.
Tobrune uses as many magic products as they produce. The teacup Rakshasha uses to maintain the temperature of the tea or the small boats that traveled through the river were all products made at the tower, and they used low-class mana stones for those products.
The problem? The mana stones that were completely used up.
Mana has the tendency to move from a low concentration to a high concentration. But what if a vessel like mana stones that contained mana became completely empty?
An unnatural state of ‘0 mana’ occurs, and that stone becomes a weird rock that emits purple light and strongly pushes away all mana around it. This is the void stone.
‘And in Tobrune, over 100 kg of void stones are discarded a day.’
Mana is an energy connected to life energy. So every living being has at least a small amount of it within them. When one is near a void stone, they become irritated, easily fatigued, and even sickly if exposed for an extended period of time. So that was why there wasn’t a single house near the void stone repository. Even if sustaining a living was hard, they couldn’t just move into their deathbed.
There were two more void stone repositories in the city, and that was why Rakshasha grimaced at the word void stone. Every single one of the repositories was located in the slums. So if you were a resident or businessman in the slums, it was very natural to dislike void stones.
‘They should still have put these things outside the city or something; those guys in the tower are really terrible.’
Void stones were a very tricky waste to deal with. If it were buried underground, the energy in the soil would be pushed out and make that land unusable, and if you threw it in water, the quality of the water would worsen.
The only relative benefit from the waste was that if you had a large amount of it, the void stone’s mana repulsion would ward all of the mana into one stone to create a mana stone once in a while.
That void mana repository’s purpose was to collect the occasional mana stone that was produced. The reason they built the facility within the city was probably to have it in a place that could be monitored in case the citizens attempted to take the stones.
The door screamed its complaint as the poorly managed hinges moved the door open. The faint purple light he could see through the cracks of the wooden panels was now even closer.
[Ugh, this feels terrible.]
Professor agreed with him. There was a nauseous feeling inside of him, as if he were motion sick.
“I can’t help it. The sheer amount of void stone here would have already chased off all of the mana left in this body.”
That was why the facility was out in the outer part of the city, even with its important role. Including the knights, who accumulated mana within their bodies through training, and like Karens that hated anything non-GMO, the water type mages in the tower didn’t even go near void stones. If my magic skills were any higher than my current level, then I wouldn’t have thought of this plan either. There was no quick way to build up mana, so it was only natural.
As the new feeling of mana he received faded away, a feeling of emptiness, as if he had lost a limb, filled his chest.
And that feeling excited Professor.
Even if he, who hadn’t even properly learned magic for more than a day, felt this depleted, how empty would the mages who have spent their entire lives on this magic feel?
“Now then, let us get ready.”
Professor took out the ragged clothes he wore in the beginning from his inventory, and changed into the clothes Rakshasha gifted him.
‘For the top…… I don’t think I’ll need to wear anything.’
The thing he was about to do was very, very illegal. He should try and look like a mute as much as possible.
[Huh? You called?]
‘Yeah. You said last time you could trigger the infected cells within my body, right? Can you move some of the infected cells to my face?’
[Disguising your face…. You don’t even need to use that troublesome method then. Vessel, rip off your face.]
[Didn’t you hear me? You can just rip off the skin, so try to make a large wound. I’ll design a nice disguise for you.]
Professor was a little hesitant but decided to follow the guy’s directions. He recently didn’t have any nightmares, and the parasite guy was cooperative recently too.
He picked up a void stone that was on the floor next to him and scratched it across his face, and with a large tearing sound, a deep wound crossed diagonally across his face.
“Arghhhh! Is this good?”
[Yeah. This looks good enough.]
Just as he finished talking, a sweet scent enveloped him. Through his wound, the blood gurgled and covered his entire face, then an entirely new layer of skin covered that.
[Tada. Now you totally look like a mute.]
Professor traced his hand across his face. His skin was covered in bumpy chunks of flesh. He looked perfectly like a mute now.
‘Hm. This isn’t bad. Than…ks? But why are you being so nice to me these days? It’s kind of creepy.’
[You don’t need to be creeped out. It’s nothing weird. I’m the one invading the body, so I’m just cooperating with the owner. In the end, you need to be alive for me to live too.]
….I don’t know. It was definitely a good thing, but I couldn’t completely trust the guy yet.
“Well, that’s it for the face. My clothes are good too. Now for the finale.”
Professor pulled out a leather bag from his pocket and pulled it over his head. The holes he punctured in the areas for his eyes and mouth didn’t create any discomfort for his vision and breathing…
“You always need a mask when stealing.”
[Are you an idiot? Why’d you change your face if you were going to wear that?]
‘Be quiet if you don’t know. This is tradition. Tradition, I tell you.’
A long tradition that has been passed down from the past. Any person intending to perform a large attack on society needs to wear one of these! The face change was just in case the mask came off.
“Heheheheh…. Isaac, just you wait…..”
Professor was letting out an ominous giggle as he headed toward the massive mound of void stone.
While Professor was still struggling with the void stone in the repository, a sharp noise rang through the silent night sky.
‘It’s the signal!’
According to the plan, he should be running toward the tower with loads of void stones in his hands. But…..
“Arrrgh! Why isn’t this coming out?!”
-Speedwagon: I told you to read the guide. Void stones have the tendency to stick to each other. Its mass is heavier compared to its volume, so if it’s all stuck together like that, you won’t be able to move it without carving some out. I heard that void stone is heavier than iron.
“You should have said that earlier!”
A plan could never always be perfect. So you needed to change bits here and there along the way, but the ‘get the void stone’ part could not be altered. The plan itself wouldn’t even work if he doesn’t have this!
Professor’s hands were a bloody mess from his attempt to detach the void stones.
“Ughhh! Darn it! Fine! If I can’t take all of it, I’ll just take one! I’ll take the biggest one here!”
[The biggest one?]
“Yeah! This one!”
Professor put his hand under the void stone in the center, which was one complete, solid mass of void stone.
-Soygaybar: How is that the biggest one, that’s just the entire thing.
-Jokasss: Can you even lift that? If the weight of the void stone is about the same as steel, then that’s easily gonna weigh over a few tons.
“The plan’s a failure if this doesn’t work anyway!”
After taking a deep breath, Professor used every muscle in his body to pull at the void stone.
Professor’s entire body ballooned like it was about to explode, and veins popped out around his entire body. He looked like the dictionary definition of a monster.
-Soygaybar: This is actually impossible! This isn’t just lifting it up. You’re trying to pull out a void stone that’s literally rooted to the ground! You usually use a crane for this stuff!
“Shut up! Powerlifting is supposed to be lifting something you can’t normally lift!”
From his severely swollen thighs, some of the blood vessels exploded and started to leak out. At the same time, the big mountain of void stone started to move bit by bit.
-Holli: Woah, that…!
The void stone finally started to crack under the overwhelming pressure. Professor’s hand moved in from the position he was in when he was grabbing the void stone, and in that place he felt a sort of solid core. Professor used every last bit of strength in his body and pulled at the core, using the hole as a handle.
And finally, the large void stone mound broke off, and he pulled out the core located in the middle of it.
The thing looked like a large crystal, and even after shaking off the excess void stone still on it, it was still over three times the size of Professor’s body.
“Hah, hah! Heheehee! See! It is possible! Who said I couldn’t do it?”
-PriestsChicken: Wow! Magic! The power to create miracles!
-Soygaybar: Uh….. Mr. Mage? Was this what you meant by projecting your will to the world?
-Jokasss: Water(sweat) mage’s extraordinary Chad magic.
Professor put down the large void stone crystal and stared at the Tower of Mages, glowing a soft blue in the distance as he healed his body.
“I was originally planning to sneak in and spray the void stone everywhere…. But I won’t even need to do that with this much!”
In the far distance, he could see a fire and hear sounds of explosions toward the southern wall. He didn’t have any time to spare. The plan was already in action.
‘So it really started.’
3 minutes before the operation started.
Like they had planned earlier, Rakshasha had infiltrated the tower.
The light single she and her guild members used for long-distance communication flickered urgently in her hands.
’[Everyone’s in position, and preparations are complete.] Hm~ it wasn’t a complete waste training them.’*
After much thought, Rakshasha decided to use the eyes of the citizens as a distraction.
Even in the current situation, where mutes were the center of attention, there were level 8 mutes being sold in the black market. It was because there was a rumor recently going around among the old nobles that well-cooked mute meat had no danger of infection and instead gave them the vitality of a mute. Due to this morbid trend, mutes that were caught and brought to the black market were being sold for a whopping 70 thousand Shillings, and using the funds of the guild, Rakshasha bought all six level 8 mutes on the market.
Six would be enough. Their plan was just to attract the attention of Tobrune’s guards and knights. After creating an explosion using a ‘detonation scroll,’ they just needed to release the mutes among the people that were attracted by the commotion….
[From Shadow 3. Residents are in chaos.]
[From Shadow 1. Planting the 3 panicked resident actors.]
**[From Shadow 7. Confirmed movement from the knights at the lord’s castle. Assumed to be moving towards the southern gate.]
Her guild members were trained not in combat but for these purposes. She received reports from each of them, the plan moving seamlessly, and she waited for the next signal expectantly.
‘He’s going to pour massive amounts into the Tower of Mages while only the mages are left in there and make everyone temporarily lose their mana… That is an incredible plan.’
Void stone—a material that everyone avoided. The man talked about the material that was considered a heavy load of trash as some kind of precious treasure.
‘He’s such an interesting person…. Oh my?’
With the sound of the ground rumbling, the mages gathered to peer out of the windows in the tower. There was a commotion that wasn’t part of the plan.
‘That’s weird. The plan was to approach the tower much more quietly.’
Sensing the situation had changed, Rakshasha approached the window while still maintaining her stealth.
When she looked out of the window, she let a laugh escape her mouth, even forgetting she was supposed to keep quiet.
In the distance, a massive glowing purple pillar was swallowing up the darkness of the city’s night as it approached the tower.
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