Chapter 128 – Sniffed out!?
“So, Balpas and the others really did come to this island to investigate?”
I asked Aries on top of the watchtower.
“Yes. It seems like they received the order directly from the king.”
Aries bowed. She was still in the form of a human.
“I’m sorry for acting on my own. But I didn’t do anything aside from that.”
“I know. And you did it for this island. I am grateful.”
When giving medicine to the wounded crew of the battleship, Aries had slipped in some of her poison. And like this, she had asked them what their purpose was.
And then I asked her,
“Are Oren and Balpas the only royals on the ship?”
“Yes. They were the ones who were sent in order to investigate. They are the highest in command.”
“I see. And Oren is likely the strongest… Erevan, what do you think?”
I asked, and Erevan answered.
“That blonde kid? The Princess is currently keeping an eye on him, but it seems like he has not made a move so far. He just sits there and mutters.”
“He has the ‘Sage’ crest. That means he can see how much magic energy we have. That is what is likely keeping him in check.”
“Ah. It seems like the people of Sanfaris are not much after all.”
Erevan said with a bored expression. But Aries continued in a serious voice.
“He…this Oren… Uh, well…”
“Huh? What is it, Aries?”
“No…I don’t know the details. But the crew have been saying curious things.”
“That they…are afraid of him. They all seemed like they were scared.”
“I see… That does sound like him.”
“So it’s no surprise to you?”
“Yes. I know him well. But I won’t allow him to do anything while he’s on this island. All of you, continue to watch them carefully.”
I said without revealing much.
But Aries and Erevan just bowed their heads with a ‘yes.’
I really did not like Oren. Not only would I prevent him from doing anything here, but I wanted him gone as soon as possible.
Yes…I would not let him do anything again.
And so I continued to watch his magic energy within the storage house.
“Goodbye! I had a good time!”
Balpas said untruthfully as he waved by the door of one of the storage house rooms.
He was waving at a woman called Macha, who resembled a short old man.
Macha winked at him and left. Balpas let out a sigh.
…Hmm. I do not want to look at a woman for a long time.
Macha had been quite aggressive in the bedroom, and Balpas was close to losing heart.
He had been willing to do what was necessary in order to gain information from her, knowing quite well what she wanted.
However, Macha had not given Balpas much time to talk at all. The whole thing had been some kind of mad, silent dance.
And though he would occasionally ask that she be more gentle, Macha’s hands never loosened their grip.
Of course, Balpas didn’t allow it to become completely one-sided. He stabbed Macha with his secret poison needle in an attempt to control her.
It was a powerful poison that he had used many times in order to make people spill the truth. And yet, the poison was not effective on Macha.
With this attempt ending in failure, he was promptly defeated. And so he had to go along with Macha for the next hour.
…Tsk. To think I could be toyed with like some young lad.
Balpas thought angrily to himself. The sensation of Macha’s furry lips was resurrected in his mind, and he quickly turned his thoughts towards his work.
Calm down…Balpas. She must have used magic to stop the poison.
In any case, he had underestimated this island.
He immediately knew that they had proper defensive walls, armor and weapons. However, it seemed like they were also good at counterintelligence.
What should he do now…
It was clear that this island would not fall easily. He could tell by the food and water that they were given, that this island was self-sufficient.
And Heal had declared that he would not obey any demands made by Sanfaris. However, he said that he would repair their ship and return them to the continent. If they sat here and did nothing, they would be able to return safely.
Those who don’t provoke the dragon will survive. If Balpas were king, he would try and reconcile with Heal.
However, he didn’t know if his father would agree.
His father had demanded that all of the island’s secrets be revealed. If Balpas returned without doing this, he would be accused of abandoning his duty.
Balpas let out another great sigh.
…This would be his hardest job yet.
Even Oren had backed off with a word from Heal. And judging by how easily the men’s wounds were treated, Heal and the others must be very powerful.
Well, it was evident from the explosions that they had first seen.
If force, threats and poison would not work, then he had to do something on his own two feet.
With a look of determination, Balpas tapped his foot on the floor several times.
And just like that, a hooded man suddenly approached him.
Balpas pulled a hood over his own head, and the two moved to a dark corner of the storage house.
Here, the man took off his hood.
The other man looked exactly the same as Balpas.
In fact, the face only appeared to look like Balpas. This man had the crest, ‘Illusionist’ and he was one of Balpas’s subordinates. He was able to make others see him in different forms.
And Balpas had asked this man to be his double.
The man then whispered.
“Your Highness…should I go and investigate?”
Of course, he could have this man blend in with the island residents.
However, considering the risks if he were to get caught, Balpas had decided against this.
“No, it’s fine. This time, it is for me to go all out.”
The best way for him to gain information was for him to use his crest, ‘Twilight.’ This was what Balpas believed.
‘Twilight’ could do more than just make him invisible. It was a powerful crest that allowed him to erase the sound of his breathing and his footsteps, as well as making his magic energy undetectable.
Balpas made himself invisible and then took out a small vial. It was filled with a white powder which he then sprinkled over himself.
This created a false magic aura, which would prevent anyone from getting suspicious about the sudden disappearance of his own magic.
“…Well, then. I am going. Do not leave this place under any circumstances. As for him…if Oren does anything suspicious, stop him immediately. He might get everyone killed.”
Balpas was also worried about his allies. This was because of Oren.
There was something that he noticed now that the entire crew were together in this storage house. There were some young, delicate-looking people who were clearly not sailors or in the military.
Balpas immediately realized that they were Oren’s men that he had brought from the Magic University.
What would they and Oren do… It was possible that one word from Oren could send Heal and the others into a rage.