A man stood between Rei and Vel. It was Kuust, who had also intercepted Rei earlier when he had been about to attack Vel.
However, there was no light of consciousness in his eyes. The way Kuust stood before him, Rei feel that Kuust had no control over himself.
「Here, this solves the problem of the wall.」
Standing behind Kuust, Vel turned to look towards Rei with the same crazy smile as before. But……
「He certainly can be used as a wall for you. However, in the end, it’s Kuust. As you already know, in terms of pure ability, there’s an overwhelming difference between my and Kuust. But you’re still going to leave the role of the wall to just Kuust?」
While saying that to provoke him on purpose, Rei focused his mind on the two other people who had fainted.
(If Elena and Ara are also being manipulated somehow, judging from Vel’s character, he would show his cards here to brag……)
Rei tried to watch the area all around himself so that he wouldn’t miss anything but Vel’s reply was unexpected.
「Certainly, in an ordinary situation, Kuust can’t beat you. ……But, what if he wasn’t in his normal state?」
「In the first place, if a magic potion is used to control a person’s consciousness, can you predict the person’s abilities? For example, ignoring the movement of the body during fighting, a person’s thoughts during battle are not as obvious if they are being manipulated. ……Well, there are more sophisticated magic potions in this world than the one I used, there’s also one that allows a person to be manipulated without directly controlling them. Unfortunately, the magic potion I used isn’t as great as that. ……Really, I think such things should be spread out, the Bestir Empire is too careful with minor things like this. The Mantis was also great.」
「……The Mantis, was it?」
Mantis. The first thing that came into his mind at those words was the huge monster that they had encountered on the way to the dungeon from Gimuru. Using something like optical camouflage, it had blended into the surroundings to wait for them. The monster had then melted away and disappeared as soon as they had defeated it, destroying the evidence.
「I see, that was informative. You were surprised then as well though.」
「Hm? Ahh, that’s different. It’s true that the monster is the work of an alchemist from the Bestir Empire, but I had nothing to do with it. Or should I say, Even if you say that I have betrayed the Mireana Kingdom, given a chance to kill Elena, the General Princess, I don’t think you need to considered which has a higher priority.」
「In other words, you were as good as a sacrifice.」
Though Rei said that to provoke him even more, Vel took it in stride and paid no attention to it.
「Well, something like that. That’s fine with me. If I am treated like a sacrifice and I die, then it’s because I was only an existence at that level. Of course, I have no intention to lose quietly. ……It seems that you’ve been stalling for time for a while, whether it’s Elena, Ara or Kuust, I don’t think they will wake up so easily? Besides, you weren’t the only one stalling for time either. ……It’s about time.」
While showing a smile, he took a whistle from his pocket.
The moment he saw that whistle, an unpleasant feeling went up Rei’s spine……
Set released a Wind Arrow at the same time Rei shouted to him. Rei ran past Kuust as Kuust blocked the wind arrow with a water spell from his magic spear. As Vel brought the whistle to his mouth, Rei swung the Death Scythe at him. ……No, the moment he was about to swing it down, tentacles sprung out and completely covered Vel while several egg shaped things, a few centimeters thick each, were shot towards Rei.
Rei, almost on reflex, either avoided them or tore through them with the Death Scythe, but in that gap, Vel leapt back and took some distance from Rei. He then took a deep breath and blew heavily into the whistle in his hand.
Piiiiiii~, as the high pitched sound echoed into the surroundings, Set, who had been releasing wind arrows constantly, leapt away from his current location. And the next moment……
Roar-! Something about the same size as a human let out a roar as it landed where Set had been just before.
If Set has hesitated slightly on whether to shoot one more wind arrow before moving, it would have been Set’s back that would have been crushed instead of the pavement.
「……Is that also one of the fruits of alchemy?」
Rei retreated with Set and spoke as he looked at the thing which had appeared further away from Vel and Kuust.
「Yes, yes. This is something that was lent to me by the Bestir Empire for this mission. It’s a so called Golem. Well, just by looking at it you can tell, but it’s much faster than an ordinary Golem. Any how, let alone Rei, even Set didn’t sense it following us.」
Golem. It was an artificial life form that could be made from various materials such as stone, dirt, wood or bones. Although it was an artificial life form, it basically had no emotion or will, it simply handled the orders given to it by its master. It gave Rei the impression of a robot.
And, the Golem before Rei was certainly quite different from what he knew of them from Zepairu’s knowledge or the books that he had read in the library. First of all, its size was different. ALthough ordinary Golems were about 3m tall, This Golem was only as tall as Rei. That is, about 1.6m. Half the size of a normal Golem.
(Golem……or rather, maybe it should be called an Automata. No, such a concept doesn’t exist in this world, so maybe it is a Golem.)
He though of that in his mind as he held the Death Scythe against the Golem standing in front of him and Set.
(Esta Nord, the alchemist of Zepairu’s organisation may have been able to make a Golem at this level. ……But according to Zepairu’s knowledge, it seems that he was passionate about the development of magic items and not really interested in Golems.)
「Even if you include this Golem, I think it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still at an advantage. Set can fight the Golem and I can deal with you and Kuust.」
「Hmm, well, it certainly is so if you consider it normally. ……If you consider it normally that is.」
While saying that, he took a gem shaped like a triangular pyramid, a few centimeters tall, from his pocket. Rei thought that it was a magic stone for a moment, but it was obvious that it wasn’t a magic stone due to its shape.
「Are you worried about this? This thing, I can use it like this……-!」
He swung his hand that held the triangular pyramid shaped gem down……at Kuust’s neck. And……
The moment the tip of the gem struck him, the gem entered Kuust’s body from his neck, as if it were a living thing. At the same time, Kuust released a beast like scream.
「Hm? I wonder if the impact was stronger than I though? Did he regain consciousness?」
Vel turned to look at Kuust with eyes as if he was looking at an interesting performance. The next moment, the colour of delight filled his eyes.
「Wh-……what, I, what is going on? The pain in my body……」
Yes, Kuust, who should have fainted, had woken up.
And, noticing Vel looking at him with interested eyes, remember the events before he had fainted at the same time.
「Vel, you-! ……What!?」
Kuust reflexively tried to stab Vel with his magic spear and noticed the next moment that he couldn’t move his body from the neck down.
「Vel, what have you done to me!」
Kuust glared and Vel strongly. If you could kill people with looks, perhaps Kuust’s eyes, which were will with hatred, would have killed Vel by now.
「What, you don’t remember anything? Here, didn’t you drink water from my bottle several times? There was a magic potion in there. Ah, I will say this before you ask, but I’m fine as I’ve drank an antidote.」
「……You, what did you do all this for.」
「No, that is already settled. In order to get preferential treatment over at the Bestir Empire, I need the head of the General Princess, who has been a thorn in their side. ……Well, I’ve had a hard time? First of all, Elena is usually sharp. You and Ara are the other Knights escorting her so I couldn’t get any helpers. ……Then, the information on the Altar of Inheritance came in. Due to the special requirement of the ceremony, I had expected it to be just the three of us and one more person sent by Margrave Rowlocks due to the location of the dungeon. I was correct. However, my biggest miscalculation was suggesting to my father that we limit the extra person to a D rank adventurer. To think that a person like Rei, who was beyond my imagination, would be in D rank.」
The sound of teeth grinding together could be heard. The source of the sound was natural.
「You……you have no pride as a noble!」
「Pride? To me, pride is worth less than dust. Thanks to that pride I couldn’t kill anyone except in wars.」
「Now then, that’s enough explanation I guess? Well, shall we bring a close to this performance?」
Vel snapped his fingers. Kuust’s body started to move without his permission and he turned to point the magic spear in his hand at Rei.
「This is the effect of the magic potion that you drank. Furthermore……」
Snapping his fingers again, the next moment, Kuust dashed towards Rei and thrust his magic spear at him.
「Ugh, avoid it!」
While being to forced to move his body, Kuust shouted at Rei. As he couldn’t receive the attack directly, Rei dodged it, passing him by so that he would strike Vel with the Death Scythe. That was his intention……
Rei and Kuust let out surprised voices at the same time.
For Rei, it was because the magic spear was thrust at him at a speed which was incomparable to previous thrusts he had seen in the dungeon so far. For Kuust, it was because his body was moving faster, more skillfully and stronger than before.
At the magic spear which thrust out sharply, Rei reflexively parried it with the Death Scythe.
「Ahahahahaha. Surprised? I was surprised! Currently, Kuust’s physical abilities has been double compared to usual……no, it is three times greater. Do you understand, that’s why I’m still so calm.」
While listening to Vel shouting it out proudly, Rei avoided and blocked the continuous thrusts from Kuust’s magic spear.
The battle between the Golem and Set had started a bit further away from there. Avoiding the attacks of the long sword that the Golem held, Set counter attacked by using his sharp claws to repeatedly strike the Golem’s shield.
「Vel, you-! Freely controlling my body……I absolutely cannot permit it!」
Kuust shouted as if he was overcome with rage, but Vel looked on at Kuust and Rei’s fight interestingly as if the anger had nothing to do with him.
「Hey, hey, is it fine to look at me? Your body is still facing Rei without your control.」
Kuust thrust out three times at Rei’s belly, chest and throat. Rei parried them with the handle of the Death Scythe. His face no longer had the anxiety that he had felt a few second ago. Even if Vel could boost Kuust’s physical abilities and manipulate him freely, in the end, he was still doing it by force and manipulating him by force. It didn’t mean that Vel had mastered the art of spear fighting that Kuust had learned.
(No, to be exact, he used the power of the gem to forcibly raise Kuust’s physical abilities to make up for his lack of proficiency.)
While thinking that, he thrust the handle of the Death Scythe into the ground as a shield to block Kuust’s incoming spear thrust aimed at his right foot.
Despite Kuust had his physical abilities boosted, the Death Scythe weighed over a 100kg and Rei had a physical strength above the norm. The attack had originally aimed to knock Rei off his feet but Kuust felt his strengthened hands go numb when he stuck the handle of the Death Scythe.
However, he didn’t stop. Rotating on the spot, using the momentum from the parried attack, he tried to hit Rei’s left side with the magic spear.
Rei promptly ducked down and moved back to avoid it. Making sure that the magic spear had passed in front of him, he dashed forward to get within a suitable attacking distance to Kuust.
While muttering that, he hammered the handle of the Death Scythe into Kuust’s stomach.
The attack was meant to knock Kuust out……
But Kuust kept his consciousness even after being struck in the stomach.
It was true that Kuust was equipped with a full set of plate armour, which had a high defensive power. However, that attack had even broken his armour before striking him in the stomach. Normally, he should have fainted right away after being struck by that, but Kuust kept his consciousness as his face distorted in agony.
「Ahahahahahahaha. It’s impossible, impossible. The current Kuust can’t faint……no, that’s not possible. He’s been strengthened. However, as compensation, his entire body should be feeling terrible pain. Hey, Kuust. How do you feel? You can’t control your body and you can’t lose consciousness. Isn’t it a terrible humiliation for someone with a lot of pride like you?」
Finding it funny, Vel started to laugh.
「Eh? Did you say something? I don’t want to hear any whining from someone who has been trying to kill me.」
「Kill me……destroy him! Rei!」