Chapter 53 - Eyelids (25)

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“If you move even an inch, this mage will die!”

Shiing—!

The commanding knight pulled out his sword as if planning to charge at Professor.

“Nonsense! I will go right this instant to behead you and save the mag—”

“And!”

Flutter!

Professor used his free hand to take out the [Isaac Mandalius’s Research Documents] out of his inventory, then sprayed it into the air.

The documents fluttered into the air like leaves and landed in the crowd of knights and soldiers that were surrounding the tower.

“….With every mage, I will also drop a record like that research document. I saw some very interesting records. Documents about human experiments like the one I just threw down or other ones about the interesting things happening in Tobrune at the moment. Now, which one will this mage come with? It’s one minute from now!”

Dangle dangle.

“Ah, ahhhhhhh!”

As Professor shook the arm that held the ropes, the old mage’s screams echoed throughout the surrounding area. The serious expression on the commanding knight’s face as he read the research documents became even more serious as he talked to the person next to him, resulting in them turning back.

“I-It can’t be helped! Knights of Tobrune! Retreat from the Tower of Mages!”

Mutter mutter.

There was a cloud of confusion among the troops. It was only natural. The Knights of Tobrune retreated just because of a couple of threats from a monster.

“B-But! Commander, why can’t we attack them? Look at the eyes of Sir Bodlair! Those eyes are of one that is prepared to…..”

“14, 15, 16—”

“Ahhhhhhh! Stop shaking me! Aghhh! Aaaaah!”

“…..Prepared to die for the greater good. With just that one person’s sacrifice, we can save all of the other mages and kill that monster!”

“Argh! Quiet! We are retreating! This is an order! Sir Ottman Bodlair is part of the Bodlair family bloodline! He can’t die here! I am making this decision to protect the lives of the precious mages of our kingdom!”

“37, 38….”

“Hurry! We’re not completely retreating! Just get out of the tower perimeter and make a wider defense!” “……Understood.”

After managing to persuade the soldiers, the commander knight hurriedly turned to Professor.

“We accept your conditions, so spare the mages!”

Clop, clop, clop.

Clunk. Clank!

The area around the mage tower slowly started to quiet down as the slow, clopping sounds of the horses faded into the distance.

When the only sound at the tower became the sound of flowing water, Professor finally put down the old mage, who had perfectly done his job as a hanging alarm bell.

“Good job.”

“Sob! Sir Bodlair!”

“Uhhhh, ughhhhh….”

“You can’t leave us like this, sir!”

Once Professor threw the mage towards them, the younger mages all cried as they hugged him tightly.

‘That guy and all of the other mages downstairs didn’t reek of mute blood. The ones that participated in the experiment must be Isaac and his ten disciples. They must have taken over the closest floor to the mana core as a laboratory while the tower’s lord was gone.’

That was a relief. The mages would be a precious resource during the approaching war, so it would have been a shame if he had to kill all of them.

‘There were some problems along the way, but the plan ultimately worked out.’

They looted all of the stuff. The area around the tower was empty, and the Tobrune troops were cramped in the narrow alleyways, attempting to form another siege.

“Now, now, let’s get ready! We need to start heading out soon!”

At Professor’s signal, the members of the Thief Guild, including Rakshasha, got on top of the large chests in pairs with long rods in their hands.

“I’ll start when everyone’s ready!”

After confirming that all of the guild members were on the chests, he approached the tower’s mana core and reached for the bottom—the very core of the object.

‘I won’t need to worry about the mages. They’re water-type mages, after all. They’ll only feel better in the water, not drown.’

Crack, craaack!

He tightened his grip around the mana core, and the high-quality mana stone inside started to crack. The power that created the eight rivers that flow through all of Tobrune—what would happen to the artificial rivers in the city if he broke this?

“Ahem, time to break this filthy water that’s been corrupting this city for the past 70 years!”

Craaack, shatter!

When Professor applied more pressure, the mana core finally broke into pieces.

Grrrrrrrumble—

Glug, glug glug!

A moment of silence. Then, a massive sound shook the entire ground. As the magic that maintained the eight rivers of the city disappeared, the water surrounding the tower started to move around wildly.

“It’s coming! Everyone, hold on tight!”

Grrrrrrumble!

The ominous sound continued to become louder.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

Roooooar!

The eight streams of water that wrapped around the tower shot up towards the sky and started to rush through the entire city along with the overflowing river.

“W-What’s that?!”

“It’s a flood! The river! The river is flooding!”

“Everyone evacuate! All troops! Evacuate to the building rooftops!”

As the underground water continued to flow out of the eight holes at the bottom of the Tower of Mages, the flood that started at the city’s center swept through every part of the city.

And the waterproof chests filled with loot were riding along the current at an unbelievable speed.

Roarrrr!

And the thieves who were sitting on top of the chests pushed the floor and walls away with the prepared rods to adjust the direction.

“Ahahaha! This is what you call city rafting! So long! Suckers! The tower’s treasures are all mine!

And so, the chests carrying the tower’s valuables and the guild’s thieves passed by Tobrune’s troops with ease and headed toward the outskirts of the city.


Splash!

Thunk!

The chests that followed the overflowing river to the outskirts of the city stopped after colliding with the walls of the houses in the slums.

“Good job, everyone!”

“Get the stuff down first!”

“We need more crowbars! Someone go get them! Hurry!”

“Don’t let it touch the water! There are magic documents in this one!”

The other members of the guild were waiting at the slums as planned, and they professionally organized the loot that they had acquired.

The valuables in the large chests were divided into smaller chests in an instant, then carried away by the thieves. Those valuables were now going to temporarily leave the city until a special customer who wouldn’t ask for their source would come for them.

“Can you really just let them go like that? Even if they’re guildmates, they’re all thieves. It isn’t exactly unusual for them to just run away with that.”

“Oh, that’s a little rude. Just because we work in the shadows doesn’t mean we don’t have our own rules. Let them steal it if they want to. The Moon Shadow guild isn’t just some small guild in Tobrune.”

That’s true. There was no way a Thief Guild would stay put if their stuff got stolen.

“Here, this is your share.”

Rakshasha handed Professor a small pouch embroidered with mysterious patterns.

“A medium-sized dimensional storage pocket, 50% of the money on the tower, a book from each of the Reedflow Academy series, and there were only two high-quality mana stones, so I gave you one. And I selected an appropriate defense-type artifact, as you asked.”

Ahh, life was bitter, but the rewards were as sweet as honey.

The fruit of his efforts—the one month in the game he spent without leaving it once while eating the soggy calorie bars provided by the game pod. It was finally in front of his eyes.

Shhhhhhling—!

If capitalism were a religion, that sound of money falling was the praise towards the god. When he took the pouch that Rakshasha handed him, he could hear the sound of him receiving Shillings like it was a waterfall of coin.

[Money: 1,824,950 Shillings]

Money. He had so much money that even after paying off all of his debts, he still had 700,000 Shillings left over.

Inventory. The second he hung the bag on his belt, the inventory space increased from 4 slots to 24 slots.

And, the magic books. The Reedflow Academy series sat inside his expanded inventory.

“I’m, I’m rich…..!”

I had agreed with them beforehand to split the loot so that I could get the cash and items I needed, and Rakshasha’s guild would get all of the valuables a single individual like me couldn’t handle. It looked like I had a large share, but once all of those valuables were sold, my share wouldn’t even be a tenth of Rakshasha’s guild got. That was how many valuables the Tower of Mages had. Everything was marked with the Reedflow Academy mark.


-Highwaynachoman: Wow, that’s one big load.

-Soygaybar: Go to the hospital now that it’s over. You’re rich, so go to a big and nicer one.

-Speedwagon: He seems to have stabilized again. I thought it was hard to return to normal after being taken over once.


Hmm…. They were still worried about me. Well, it was true that all of this money would be worthless if I died. People who didn’t know my situation probably thought I was someone risking my life over money. But my account was almost about to get banned by the marketplace as a fraudulent transaction. If I weren’t in that situation, I would have gone out to eat and taken a breather while playing the game too.

Once I realized that I had all the money to pay my debt, the tension that had built up inside of me loosened up, and the fatigue started to overwhelm my body.

“Professor? So what are you planning to do now?”

“I’m not sure. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. The one that’s wanted right now is the Crimson Mute, and I’m still just known as the escapee Professor in the city.”

To Professor’s response, Rakshasha sent him an odd glance.

“Hmm. So does that mean you’re staying in the city for now?”

“Well, yes. I’m waiting for someone, and there’s still some work left to….. oof!”

“Oh my.”

Rakshasha caught and hugged Professor, who collapsed from drowsiness and fatigue.

“Hmm…. What’s this? A man who defeated a level 6 mage with his bare hands suddenly collapsed from fatigue? Is there an ulterior motive to this?”

“Ughh….. Or maybe it’s because I defeated him with my bare hands that I’m this tired? Let me off the hook this time. I deserve to be awarded for my hard work.”

“I really can’t beat you with my words, can I?”

Rakshasha let out a small laugh as she ran her hand through Professor’s hair. Once he was in Rakshasha’s arms, an overwhelming wave of fatigue splashed over him.

“Uhm…. You… can…. Inn…..”

“Shhh. I know, I know. Just let me take things from here. You can rest.”

“Thank….”

Professor managed to squeeze out the last of his strength to call out the system page and press [Deposit to Marketplace], then moved towards the logout button.

Ding—!

[Warning: Abnormal Logout Detected. If the player does not log out in a Safe Zone, the player’s character will move automatically according to the flow of the game. Are you sure you want to log out?]

‘Rakshasha will take me to a Safe Zone anyway…… It should save ther….. I don’t care….. I’m resting now….’

A little concerning message had popped up in front of him, but Gyosu was already too tired to think.

And like that, Professor fell asleep in Rakshasha’s arms.


While Professor was falling asleep, there was a man kneeling down at the empty mage tower garden.

“I-It’s beautiful….!”

The man’s name was Roman Gachia Manson. He was a mage that avoided the incident at the tower because he ran out to find the escapee, ‘Professor’.

While he was looking for Professor in the slum pubs, he felt an odd mana wave and traced his steps back through the overflowing water back to the Tower of Mages, and there, Roman had seen it.

“I-It’s so big… and beautiful….”

While he was looking at the big purple Void Stone crystal that was sticking out of the side of the tower, Roman was gaining a new awakening.

‘Why haven’t I thought of that before? The power to push away mana. If it’s used right, it could be used to create an artificial path for the flow of mana. This is it. The last missing piece to my mana pathway theory was the Void Stone!’

The young mage was caught up in a weird feeling. Was this all just a coincidence? The fact that I’m a mage that hates magic but loves mana—and just happened to learn the goblin’s magic engineering—and that I got just the right solution to the problem I was facing.

After blankly standing there in a trance for a while, Roman ripped off the Reedflow Academy emblem that was on his robe sleeve.

“Magic was never my path to go down. My fate has been leading me towards the path of magic engineering since the beginning!”

The eyes that were looking at the half-collapsed tower and the pillar stuck in that tower sparkled with excitement.

Roman had decided. From now on, he was going to dedicate his entire life to magic engineering and Void Stone studies.

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