The Elder with the Fox Mask
After escaping the prison, we switched to infiltration mode.
We could have just escaped while destroying everything in our path, but Demon King Ashtaroth was a cautious king. And I preferred to leave as quietly as I had been invited.
And so Toshizou and I attacked the guards in front of the prison at the same time. We were insync as we moved behind their backs and hit their necks with our hands. They fell unconscious.
“Still, I wonder why doing this knocks them unconscious?”
“I don’t know.”
I answered. And then we dragged the guards into the cells and tied them up.
We met several other guards as we made our way through the castle, and so we did the same to them. We would attack from the shadows or use invisibility magic in order to surprise them, etcetera.
“You’re like a thief, Master Ashtaroth. What do you say? Should we go and steal some treasure?”
“Not a bad idea. Perhaps another time. Right now, we should reunite with Jeanne as soon as possible. And then I want to meet Eve and move my army.”
“And you will judge your enemies without mercy.”
“Aye. It will be something that no one has seen for years.”
I said. And then an alarm started to ring.
Toshizou clicked his tongue.
“Apparently, the other guards have woken up.”
“Perhaps. Well, it’s fine. We’ve gotten this far already. There’s no need to hide anymore. Let’s fight.”
Toshizou declared. And then he cut down some charging guards with the long sword.
While I felt a little exasperated, there really wasn’t anything left for us to do. And so I charged my fists with magic energy and fought the soldiers barehanded while making my way to the exit.
We reached the entrance room in no time. And here, we were surrounded by dozens of soldiers. They came from every direction. Not only that, but it seemed like more were on the way.
“This is going to be rather tough.”
I said. And then Count Ismalia stepped out before us.
“Did you think that I would have weak security when a Demon King was being invited to the castle?”
“Well, there it is. Don’t resist… No, I won’t say that. No matter how many times I capture you, you will likely run away.”
“Every man wants to break the record of prison escapes.”
“Well, that won’t be you.”
“Jessica will be sad.”
Toshizou said. But Ismalia ignored him.
“We will say that Demon King Ashta killed himself in his cell. He was a proud man. That’s what I will say.”
“How considerate of you. But I don’t intend on laying down and dying. I will at least take your guards with me, as well as your head.”
“I can’t allow that.”
Ismalia said. And then he turned to his butler. At the same time, his butler pushed something like a button.
And then the floor underneath Toshizou suddenly opened. And like that, Toshizou fell into the ground.
I watched with disinterest and muttered, ‘Oh, dear.’
“I was quite confident that I’d be able to escape, but I can’t exactly leave him.”
“Then you should fall with him. And wither away.”
“It’s good of you to make such an offer, but I must decline.”
I said. And then the floor under me opened as well, and I was at the mercy of gravity.
I fell upside down. It felt like going down a rushing current. Only this wasn’t fun at all.
As I did not want to die from the fall, I used both hands to decrease my speed. Once I was close to the ground, I unleashed magic energy in order to break the fall. Had I not done this, I would have broken many bones when hitting the ground.
The pitfall was made so that you would be injured but not die. They wanted you to suffer from the pain as you died slowly in your cell. It was very diabolical indeed.
When I looked around me, I saw that I was surrounded by bones. Both human and demon. It was clear that this trap had been used for hundreds of years. The count’s craftiness was an inherited trait.
“Well, I should make sure that Toshizou is safe.”
I could think about the count’s character at another time. And so I started to search for my companion. If he was injured, then I would have to treat him. But it wasn’t very likely.
Toshizou had stabbed the long sword into the wall in order to break his fall. And so he had been able to land without a scratch.
“I’d expect no less from the demon vice-captain.”
He smiled confidently.
“Still, I did not expecting to find such a dreary place deep in Ismalia castle.”
“It seems to have been made by his ancestors.”
“They must have been a dismal sort. Just like him.”
Toshizou’s opinion was much like my own. I then cast the ‘Lamplight’ spell on his long sword.
“Go and search the place with that light. You take the left, and I’ll go right.”
“As you wish.”
We moved at the same time, and the search began. That being said, the underground water-filled chamber could be explored in just five minutes. And so I bumped into Toshizou at the same spot.
“I suppose this is what some would call checkmate.”
Toshizou muttered. But we hadn’t checked the pool of water in the center yet.
“The water must be connected to somewhere. And perhaps we can use it to escape.”
“Indeed. Master, please go and dive through it.”
“You’re going to ask your master to do it?”
I said jokingly.
“I don’t like to swim. Besides, there will likely be iron bars, which will require your magic to break.”
Convinced, I dove into the water. I then cast ‘Water Walk.’ It was a useful spell that allowed you to breathe underwater as you walked on the floor.
Toshizou muttered something about being jealous of sorcerers, but I continued to search the water. It really did connect to some other place. The problem was that the iron bars had anti-magic protection. So I would not be able to sever them with magic.
And so I would have to call Toshizou and have him cut it under water. Thinking this, I tried to move back to the surface, but I could not. This was because I saw an unfamiliar face on the other side of the bars.
It was an old man who wore a fox mask. And he was about to withdraw his sword under water.
Can it be done? I watched cautiously. But the only man unsheathed his sword as if to laugh at me.
Lines shot through the water in the shape of a square, and the iron bars fell away. It was splendid. Just as good as Toshizou had been.
The old man must have noticed that I was watching. He moved his jaw out, gesturing for me to follow him. I nodded to show that I meant to do so, and then I returned to the surface in order to call Toshizou.
“An interesting swordsman has come to our aid. He is wearing a fox mask.”
Toshizou seemed to have an idea of who it was.
He muttered. And then he prepared to dive into the water.
Toshizou dove in and then swam awkwardly towards the severed bars.
I followed after him until we came out into a place that was not a prison.