Chapter 21 – Cold Sweat
“That is the assassin who used the transformation potion!”
As I had flown out so suddenly, the nearby knights were all looking at me, stunned and wide-eyed. But they eventually grabbed their swords and shouted angrily.
“Bastard! What have you done to Lady Andarsia!”
Now go and get him!
I sighed with relief at having such reliable people on my side. And then I noticed something odd.
For some reason, the tips of their swords were pointed towards me.
“Huh? Why are you…”
“Why? After such an unpardonably rude act towards Lady Andarsia!”
Oh, damn it.
They misunderstood me.
And then I realized why.
These knights were from a foreign country, and had accompanied the woman as her protectors. They didn’t know about us Royal Magicians, and how we were attending the ball.
“N-no, you have it wrong! I am a Royal Magician and…”
“Lies! As if a little squirt like you could ever be a Royal Magician!”
“Who are you calling a squirt!”
Now he was treating me like a child…
But as I troubled over this, I saw that in the corner of my vision, the assassin who had the appearance of an old butler, had pulled out a knife from his breast pocket.
And then it was as if he had vanished.
A dash forward that seemed so unexpected, judging by the gentle appearance.
And like this, the assassin shot towards his target.
This alone showed that this enemy had incredible skill.
Considerably more than your average assassin.
In the underworld, training on the frontlines, and attaining combat skills that defied belief.
However, I was not exactly slow either…
In an instant, I rushed past the knights and crashed into the old butler.
I saw the eyes on the wrinkled face widen in surprise.
And without delay, I unleashed wind magic as a follow up attack.
The old butler retreated while dodging me.
And after regaining his posture, he pulled something else out of his pocket and activated it.
All at once, shadows that took the exact same shape as the butler appeared and surrounded us.
I had lived a rather ordinary life up until now, and so it was so different from the magic artifacts that I knew of. It was likely…a dungeon artifact.
Incredibly rare and powerful objects that were found in the depths of dungeons.
Dozens of these black shadows had appeared.
And to me, it seemed as if each one had the skills and abilities of the assassin.
And then they attacked all at once.
…I won’t let you.
Air Raid Storm.
Blades of wind danced in the air.
The area attack slashed through nine of the shadows from the front.
The assassin clearly did not expect to lose so many with a single attack.
As hesitation appeared in his steps, I continued to attack, taking out six more to my right.
And then I rotated, unleashing magic.
My long skirt flutters in the air.
And with footwork that reminded me of dancing, I protected the target from the shadow attacks.
The others had faith in me, and entrusted me with this job.
…And so I will not let him pass through here.
◆ ◆ ◆
He was a first-rate assassin whose name was well-known in the underworld.
He never made mistakes, and had never known defeat.
To such a person, having a small girl suddenly come flying through the air was a completely unexpected occurrence.
This girl in a dress, who smashed the glass of poisoned wine, and saw through his disguise.
Enveloped in wind, as she softly descended, she became such a striking, almost mystical figure.
“Bastard! What have you done to Lady Andarsia!”
Luckily, one of the nearby knights shouted at her and drew his sword.
A perfect opportunity that appeared before him.
And so he erased his presence and rushed forward.
Once he was sure that he was within range to unleash an attack that would be impossible to dodge, he moved.
However, in the next instant, he experienced a shock that he had never experienced before.
The girl had moved at a speed that surpassed even him.
And while he had managed to dodge her follow up attack, her speed was in a territory that was unknown to him, in spite of his many years of training.
Who the hell was she…
He had so many questions, but there was one thing that was clear.
It was that this was no ordinary person.
I will have to use my trump card then.
He decided quickly.
And so he activated the trump card that he had prepared for such emergencies.
Even among the powerful dungeon artifacts, this one was on a different level.
…A special grade artifact.
Such artifacts were often sold for enough gold to buy a city or even a kingdom.
The artifact that he possessed was recognized as being of that caliber.
A ring that summoned dark shadows that possessed the same power as the user.
You could summon as many as seventy of them.
And they could be summoned infinitely, no matter how many were destroyed, meaning it was overwhelmingly powerful during one versus one combat.
Seventy against one.
And you had to fight against an unending army of shadows.
While his opponent seemed to be a skilled magician, surely she would be powerless against this ring.
With these shadows in front of her, the girl would not be able to do anything as they attacked and cut her down to the floor.
That is what he thought.
No…it’s impossible…against a special grade artifact…
What he saw was balance.
In front of such an overwhelming advantage of numbers, she launched an area attack with incredible speed, preventing them from getting close to her.
He could not believe his eyes.
How much power would you need in order to do such a thing?
But he was no professional magician. He could not measure her strength any more than he could measure up to it.
Who is this monster…
And for the first time in his life, a cold sweat dripped down his neck.