Episode 95

The Plague-Contaminated City Of Seville (3)
1 week ago
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As always, there was a ‘core’ at the heart.

Just as the human body’s vital point was the heart.

Just as a magician’s mana gathered entirely in the heart.

For demons too, what could be called the mana’s core, the ‘Magic Stone’, was located in the heart.
Not all magical beasts were like this.

Demons, vulnerable when protecting their hearts, began to store their Magic Stones elsewhere.

However, most life-form type magical beasts carried a Magic Stone in their heart.

To spread mana throughout the body most efficiently using the pipeline—the ‘veins’.

In other words…

To safely extract the Magic Stone, one must aim for the heart, but the heart must be carefully carved out.


I thrust my sword forward.

The large magical beast—a troll, raising its sword high towards me, grimaced with a twisted face.

“Keu, keuk…!”

Just piercing the chest muscles and around the heart wouldn’t instantly kill it.

The troll’s greatest strength was its regenerative power, which originated from its heart.



Forcefully twisting the mana-infused sword, I severed the veins leading from the heart.

Before a fountain of blood gushed out, I quickly stepped on the troll’s thigh and positioned myself over its shoulder.

-Is there a need to use the sword with hands only?

Once, a master said that to me.

-If the end goal is to take down the enemy, then it doesn’t matter if you use something other than your hands.

Just as he said, and just as he did.


Before the troll could reach out to grab me, I leaped down first.

At the same time, I spun my body around and, concentrating mana on the tip of my foot, kicked fiercely.


The sword plunged deeper into the troll’s chest.

Hitting the tip accurately, I pushed the sword, trapped in the regenerating muscles, further in while simultaneously driving mana from the hilt to the tip of the sword.

Although it’s not an aura, momentarily the entire blade sharpened as mana flows through it, similar to an aura.


The troll looked at me with eyes full of murderous intent—


But its hand grasped at the air, and its body fell backward.


The moment it landed, the troll’s massive body collapsed into a cross shape.

The sword stuck in its chest was about to spurt out but now remained still, as if it were a sword embedded in a giant rock.

Would it become widely known as a demonic beast sealed by a holy sword if I cast a petrification spell on it now and left it for the distant future?

“Young Master!”

“It’s okay.”

The Whites, who were on standby for long-range support, hurriedly approached from behind.

“Are you hurt anywhere…!”

“No. I told you from the start that Dame Mente would be safe.”

“Even if caught by a troll, it would end with just being knocked around. What’s to worry?”

“Ha, but if you even got a scratch, we would be scolded by the count…!”

“He doesn’t understand a servant’s heart.”

“Dame Mente…!”

“And it’s not like I’m in a position to be scolded either.”

Dame Mente, faced with Whites who seemed about to cry out in objection, merely shrugged her shoulders and smiled playfully.

‘This expedition already marks the seventh time.’

Initially, there was tension and rivalry among them, but after enduring several expeditions together, it seemed that they had become close.

Although short in stature, she was a high-ranking knight of the kingdom capable of slaughtering them.

They were young, but Dame Mente was someone that a double agent shadow from the empire would look up to.

“You’re too much, really. Maybe I should report to the empire during the regular updates that ‘Dame Mente is a garbage human being.’”

“I’d actually welcome that. Saying that a garbage human being is attached to Grey, everyone would look down on us even more.”

Although it wasn’t an easy relationship to foster, under Grey Gibraltar, it seemed they had reached a point where they could exchange malicious jokes.

“Enough with the idle talk.”

I extracted the sword from the troll.

“Hurry up and collect the troll’s heart. And some blood too.”

Magical beasts were a source of wealth.

Not the entire body, but the valuable parts could be efficiently harvested for profit.

Like the wings of a wild griffon.

Or the hide of an orc.

Or the root of a mandrake.

In the case of the troll I hunted alone, its heart was one such valuable part.

“How’s the condition of the Magic Stone?”

“It’s, uh, mid-grade. Almost high-grade, but…”

“This isn’t high-grade. If it were, it would have been about the rank of a troll leader.”

Magic Stones, the basic common by-product obtained from those belonging to the demons.

“Collect the blood, not the red one, but the black one. According to the Monster Encyclopedia, if you draw blood while they were alive, its healing abilities remain intact.”

“Young Master. Where did you hear such a thing? Is there something like a guide to monster slaying in the empire’s newspapers?”

“A book on monster slaying techniques was available at the Iperia Outlet, where books from the empire also come in.”

And the blood contained the troll’s inherent strong regenerative powers.

“It’ll make a great surprise gift for the Baron of Seville, who holds it as a family secret.”


“What’s wrong, Robert?”

“Young Master. Really, are you, uh, going to kill… or, are you killing?”

Robert, who had taken down his share of trolls, asked while scratching his head.

“He’s an old man who lacks any kindness, chatters away with his dentures in, only scolding the people of his territory, saying old people should die but then tries to live even a year longer by gobbling up anything that’s said to be good for the body, although he’s a despicable old man…”

“It seems like you, Sir Robert, are the one who wants to half-kill him?”

“If you ask whether he has committed a sin worthy of death…”

After taking a moment to catch his breath, Robert continued.

“…If you deem his words and actions worthy of death, Young Master, I will follow your will.”

He displayed a somewhat grey, not white, demeanor.

“No, no. Stay as you are, Sir Robert. I need to speak in this manner so I can also appear ‘good.’”


“If I’m surrounded by individuals as dark-hearted as these, without someone as kind as Sir Robert nearby, I might end up being scolded after committing the deed.”

Pointing at the Whites, their expressions soured momentarily, but what could they do?

In the past, they had implicitly participated in attempts on my life along with numbers 9, 18, and 27.

Now, they wouldn’t even dare think of assassinating me, lacking the capability to do so. They cling to me for survival and success, playing the role of double agents.

‘Those born from darkness cannot change their insides to white just because their outsides are.’

If I decided to order an assassination, they were the shadows who would kill the Baron of Seville, even if it meant infiltrating as maids.

No matter how much white was mixed with black, the resulting color would still only be a grey closer to white.

“I’m always grateful to Sir Robert. Otherwise, I might have actually executed the assassination method currently on my mind.”

“I won’t file a complaint, but what exactly are you thinking, folding and unfolding your fingers like that?”


I shifted my gaze to the wheeled cart that Number 81 was pulling.

“Mixing a drug that worsens wounds into troll blood.”

By incorporating imperial White Silver into potions made from troll blood, one can prevent blood clotting and instead cause severe bleeding, leading to death from excessive blood loss.

“Or spreading rumors that consuming mandrakes is beneficial.”

The people of the kingdom, unaware of the malice behind mandrakes, do not know that if mandrakes are not handled properly, they can regenerate from their roots in pots and rupture a person’s eardrums by screaming into their ears at night.

“Or spreading rumors that the fruits of the occasionally appearing zombie Bilova, despite their foul smell, are beneficial for vitality if consumed continuously.”

“Young Master….”

“Is that true? It’s because they’re poisonous.”


Or consuming 30 fruits a day from the modified magical tree Bilova, known in the empire as ‘Ginkgo’, planted for air purification along streets, can lead to death from the accumulation of trace amounts of poison.

“This isn’t assassination. It’s merely not informing.”

“Young Master….”

“And in the kingdom, the crime of non-disclosure is considered a crime only when committed against the Nostrum royal family.”

Conflicts among nobles themselves were not of particular concern.

“Speaking frankly, if I were to assassinate Baron Seville and take over his territory, how would the royal family react?”

“Wouldn’t they warn or question you for the crime of killing a noble?”

“They would question, but for what reason?”

“Well, obviously….”

Robert glanced at Dame Mente.

“Dame Mente. Do you know?”

“It’s not because a noble was killed, but because it’s ‘Gibraltar’ doing it.”

“Dame Mente, 100 points.”

Truly, a knight with extensive experience in the central regions.

“To add to the Young Master’s words, even if a Mente Seville takes over, as long as the taxes are paid diligently, it won’t matter. The same goes for Sir Robert, who comes from a commoner knight background.”

“140 points, Dame Mente.”

“Ah, so the royal family is trying to check the power of the Gibraltar family?”

Robert clapped his hands and spoke up.

“It doesn’t matter who becomes a noble as long as it’s not Gibraltar. As long as they remain loyal to the Nostrum royal family.”

“That’s the calculation. And anyway, with a stronger person becoming a noble, so….”

“The chances of a hero being born in that family increase!”


The kingdom was obsessed with heroes.

Everything revolved around heroes.

“Even a criminal can marry a princess and be forgiven if he becomes a hero of the nation.”

No one knew whether a hero would be born in this era or not.

“Of course, even the lineage of such heroes, if they overstep their bounds after gaining a title, can end up dead.”

Being a hero was great, but not necessarily the hero’s lineage.

To prove greatness, one must continuously produce heroes like Gibraltar over generations or, at the very least, maintain the dignity worthy of carrying on the family’s legacy.

“The Seville family also has a long history. The family’s founder, ‘Heroine Seville’, was the right hand of the Mercenary King ‘Blondia’, who sided with Nostrum in a large-scale magical beast incident in the contaminated zone.”

“In unofficial histories, it’s said that she was a descendant of the great hero Blondia.”

“Since the founder was a woman, it was certain, but no one really knows if that was truly the seed of the Mercenary King.”


“In the kingdom, there are more than a few people claiming to be of heroic lineage. Wouldn’t it be better for Sir Robert if the Baron Seville family were subject to such slander?”

Unofficial history.

It was said that the great hero and Mercenary King, Sword Master Blondia, sowed his seed in the Seville territory.

“Whether the people of the Seville family are his descendants, or Sir Robert here is the real descendant, no one knows.”

“Don’t say that, Young Master.”

“Why? Does it seem too much of an insult to the baronet?”

“It’s not just that, but when you say it like that, it almost seems true….”

“I’ll admit that.”

Dame Mente joined in on Robert’s concern from the side.

“Sometimes, Young Master, you tend to speak of secrets unknown to all as if they are merely predictions. Like Sir Cardian Gibraltar.”

“It’s not like that, Dame Mente.”

This was a real misunderstanding.

“I wish it were true.”

The future of Sir Robert was simply that he died loyally serving the kingdom, deeply indignant at the treason of Gibraltar.

Rather, in this life, I had come to know Sir Robert better.

How would I know whether his ancestor was a great hero or just a commoner who emerged as a hero in the kingdom’s time of crisis, as is often the case?

“Right? Haha. Yes. That I could be a descendant of such a hero. What a joke.”

“Yes. If that were true, I would have investigated your lineage four years ago and made you a legitimate Baron Seville.”


“Why? Shall we investigate now?”

“No…. Ha.”

Robert shook his head, seemingly fed up.

“I’d rather comfortably escort the Young Master. As for Baron Seville… um.”

“Speaking of the old man, this also relates to the crime of non-disclosure.”

Someone was going to die soon.

“If I had the ability to read the future like Sir Cardian, though it’s speculation that Sir Cardian had such ability, let’s just say I have a vague sense of the future.”

“A sort of, maybe, hypothetically speaking, right?”

“Yes. Under such an assumption, let’s say I miraculously saw a future where Baron Seville dies.”

Even knowing such a future, I was not obligated to inform the concerned party.

“If I had to do something about it, heroes throughout many histories would have made that choice already.”

And this proposition had already been proven by 500 years of Nostrum’s history.

“Those presumed to have had foresight only saved or took care of those who were beneficial to them, the ‘heroes.’”


“For the greater good of preventing the kingdom’s downfall, if put nicely, it was an inevitable sacrifice.”

If I were placed in a similar situation.

“Instead of frantically trying to save an old man with dentures clicking, who has little time left, it’s more beneficial to find ways to care for the people of the Seville territory who will fall into chaos after his death.”

“What, in your opinion, Young Master, would be the ideal future for the Seville territory?”

“Um… Well.”

Though I hadn’t seriously considered it since it’s not Gibraltar.

“From a conservative standpoint, even if the baron dies, the next baron will manage the territory as it is now. That’s not a big problem.”

“What if a big problem arises?”

“Of course, it would be a problem. For example…”

I wiped the troll blood off my robe.

“If the baron, fearing death, tries to live longer by consuming something he shouldn’t in order to slow aging.”

Despite spending quite some time talking, the troll’s blood was still sticky and hot.

“Such a choice by one person could lead to a disaster, a man-made calamity, afflicting all the people of the territory.”

I think.

Fate can be changed.

But to alter the foundation of an adult, unless it’s an event as significant as reversing time, people did not change.

“Just remember this. Sir Robert, the man you serve, Grey Gibraltar.”

I threw the wiped blood onto the ground.

“Whether for good or ill, he is a selfish human who chooses what benefits him.”


“And even if he had such foresight, he’s not the kind to carelessly reveal it to others.”

As the blood hit the cold ground, steam rose.

“Anticipating the baron’s death is not predicting my intent to assassinate nor spoiling the future by revealing fate.”


“It’s an inductive inference based on the life he has led.”

No matter what anyone said, if one was headed for death by their actions, who could stop them?

“The behavior displayed during our 7 expeditions alone is enough to judge, and with the Whites’ investigation completed, it’s clear.”

The next morning.

We finished hunting and returned to the baron’s castle for rest, entrusting the carriage carrying our game to a warehouse managed by the baronetcy.


That night, an incident occurred where the troll blood we brought back was stolen.

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