The Hiding Wise Man Can Not Hide – 4

Chapter 4: Assassin of the Void


As I’d been accepted into the Maldegar Academy of Magic without incident, I made preparations for my enrollment.

That being said, I’ve always carried little with me as a wanderer, so there was no actual need to pack anything. The only thing I needed was my magic compression pouch.

Besides, there was another package that was really important.
“Kaja, is there anything wrong with the system?”
“Yes, master. The information from the recent test has been stored in an organized manner and is in perfect order.”

Knowledge and information are treasures for a sorcerer. Kaja was also like a steward, in charge of the sorcerer’s fortune.
And since I’m a wanderer who doesn’t have my own laboratory or archives, a familiar like Kaja is my best bet. I’ve even prepared a ‘spare’ Kaja so that no matter what happens, it won’t interfere with my research.

But lately, I haven’t seen any sorcerers walking around with familiars at all.
It’s probably because familiars are quite difficult to handle. The more advanced their intelligence and willpower, the more likely they are to rebel and run amok.

“Well, I know. How about some salted meat?”
“What’s with the wheedling voice all of a sudden? I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s hot. Even charcoal or oil would do.”
“A black cat chewing on charcoal is creepy…”
It might be best to give this guy a few orders about his own conduct as well.
“When you look like that, mimic the habits of a normal cat. Now, let’s go.”

The Maldegar Academy of Magic is located deep in the mountains in the middle of nowhere, and was reusing the Maldegar Castle that gave it its name. According to my research, the castle was about 250 years old.
Basically, castles are the property of nobles and kings, and they serve as military and political bases. Unless the castle is abandoned, it cannot be used without permission.

‘So you’re saying that there’s a secular power involved?’
Mariam replied to me through telepathy.
‘I thought that brother Zephyr had distanced himself from all of that, what happened to him?’
‘We haven’t seen him for the last 30 years… And you and I have been immersed in our own research.’

Oh, well. The basis of everything is observation. If I observe every corner of the campus and examine it, I will understand.
More importantly, right now, it’s ‘this guy’ in front of me that I have to deal with.

“All right, next. Get on the center of the disk. The edge is dangerous.”
The main gate of the magic academy is entered by crossing a huge stone bridge, but the middle of the bridge is missing a big chunk. Normally, you would not be able to cross.

And so they float a large ‘Floating Disk’ in order to cross. But to be honest, I didn’t like it.
“We’re going on that?”
“How cute.”
I’m not joking.

‘That’s for cargo. It’s a disgrace for a sorcerer to ride in one of those.’
‘It can’t be helped. Ordinary freshmen can’t use the flying arts.’
That’s true, but…

I can’t possibly use the ‘Flight’ art here, so I guess I’ll just have to ride it quietly.
The last time I used one of these was when I carried the carcass of a fire dragon to my master’s laboratory.

The sorcerer, who seems to be the attendant here, looks at me with a faint smile.
“You, don’t be afraid and get on quickly. I’m not sure you’re going to be able to make it as a student at the Academy of Magic if you can’t ride this by yourself.”

Damn, I’m starting to remember that horrible smell of death.
There had been a flammable gas leaking from the fire dragon’s throat, and it mixed with the decomposing gas, it was horrible. And it hurt my eyes.

“I told you to get on. People are waiting.”
“All right, all right.”
“Good. Now, hold the bar here in the middle. If you’re still anxious, attach yourself to it with the belt.”
“No, I’m fine…”

I sighed and stood in the center of the floating disk. In the center of the disk stands a stick that resembles a staff, and you are supposed to hold onto it. I’m sure that from a distance, it looks like a sorcerer is flying through the air while carrying a staff.
To the untrained eye, it may be a fantastic sight, but as a professional sorcerer, it seems to be nothing more than a ‘child’s game.’ It is tremendously embarrassing.

‘This is not a sight that I’d want our departed brethren to see…’
I heard Mariam’s voice chuckling.
‘That’s not what I’d expect to hear from someone who tried to fly by attaching themself to a sail when they were an apprentice.’
Ah, I had thought that it was such a good idea.
No, wait a minute.

‘That was before you were an apprentice. How do you know about that?’
‘Master always talked about it, remember? ‘Chevaldin’s ingenuity is amazing.’ He said it was your strength that you defy convention and precedent.’
Master. What were you doing, Master?
Please stop it.

While reminiscing, I was carried by a floating disk, and flew through the air in a swoosh. It was not necessary to use the staff-like handle…but I held onto it anyway.
The floating saucer is perfect for maintaining the same level and altitude. Though, you could also say that it has no other ability.
But I also had questions.

“Hey, Kaja.”
“What is it, master?”
“What in the world is this thing?”
A sorcerer can easily summon a floating disk, but no one knows what the thing is. What it’s made of, why it floats. Or how it is able to maintain its altitude and stay level.

My faithful familiar was silent for a moment, and then answered.
”It is not among my accumulated information.”
“Of course, not.”

While it was unknown what this thing was, it was used because it’s harmless and convenient.
When I was an apprentice, I remember my master teaching me as he tended to my injuries.

‘I have a hypothesis that this disk is a shell that encloses the world. Well, it’s a hypothesis of mine.’
‘A shell that encloses the world? Like an eggshell?’

‘Well, it’s the eggshell that separates this world from the others. Doesn’t that explain its ability to maintain its level and altitude?’
‘I don’t understand.’
I understood now, but my master was no longer here.

I talk to Mariam through telepathy.
‘If this is the eggshell that Master was referring to, then it must be curved, not perfectly flat.’
‘A shell that encloses the entire universe? Even if it were curved, it would be less than a grain of an atom. There’s no way to measure it.’
Yes, that’s why it will never stop being just a hypothesis.

‘Eventually, if we can summon a floating disk larger than a planet…say, or a galaxy, we might be able to measure it.’
‘While measuring from one end to the other, both the instrument and the observer will reach the end of their lifespan…’
This sense of tremendousness was really comfortable.

‘I guess you and Zephyr are the only ones I can have this kind of conversation with now.’

The master who gave us all kinds of knowledge was no longer with us.
When he first came to this world, he opened the gate to cross over to other worlds and returned to his original world.
Just by existing, our master disturbs the magic equilibrium and forms a powerful magic field. That’s why he has to move to the other world from time to time to clear the accumulated magic energy.

He is so powerful that he said that he even reigned as a demon king in his former world.
Of course, it’s probably a joke. I don’t feel that master has such high ambitions. He was a serious educator who loved learning and teaching to the fullest.
If I were to meet him again, it would probably be in a few hundred years. I hope I’m still alive.

‘Speaking of which, Zephyr also always…wanted to see master again…’
Suddenly, I felt a strange presence. To be more precise, it was the high-pitched sound of wind. It was at the edge of my hearing range, a range that only my rejuvenated ears could hear.

At the same time, Kaja announced,
“Master, there are four objects approaching at high speed from overhead! Oh, this will be a direct hit!”
There’s no time to analyze the identity of these things. I have to use the Shield art. After I activated the force field created by magic energy, like an umbrella, something hit it without delay.

After hitting the umbrella-shaped force field, the thing slipped right past me and soared into the sky again. I could only see it for a moment, but it was a creature like a worm with dragonfly wings.
“Kaja, report the results of your analysis!”
“Ah, yes! There’s an approximate 96.4% chance that it’s a ‘Flying Leech.’
It sounds familiar, but I can’t remember. I immediately looked it up in the Archive.

‘The flying leech.’
‘It is a blood-sucking annelid with high flying ability. It uses gravity to swoop down from above and suck the blood of birds by piercing them with its sharp needle. Inhabits subtropical areas such as the Chasbente region. It is a carrier of serious infectious diseases.’

“It’s not a creature of this high latitude.”
“I don’t know anything about that. Ah, here it comes again.”
“Ugh, how annoying.”
I used the Shield art to block it again. I cast it at as sharp an angle as possible, so that it would pass downward. But this was tough.

It’s hard to avoid attacks from above when you’re on a floating saucer. There are no escape routes or things to hide behind.
And it was too fast to stop with magic.
But Kaja seems to be calm.

“Master, can’t you get to the other side safely if you bounce it off with your shield? There’s a roof if you reach the castle gate.”
“There’s a chance the other floating saucers might get hit, and there might be collateral damage if we take it to the other side.”

For the same reason, I couldn’t use fancy destructive magic either. In the immediate vicinity is a floating disk with other students on it.
The shield art cannot damage the flying leech, no matter how many times I block it. This is because this technique only uses a repulsive force like a magnet to change the trajectory of the attack.

“If I confuse the perception of the flying leech… No, there will still be collateral damage.”
Normally, I would have quickly used the Flight art to escape, but it’s not something that an apprentice magician would use. My true identity would be exposed.
Of course, I can’t put up a big fight here. If possible, I didn’t want them to even know that I was fighting.

“Master, it’s coming back. I’ve detected a dive.”
“It sure is persistent.”
I guess I have no choice but to defeat it. It was just a leech. If you hit it with a stone, it will die.
The problem is that there are no stones here…
Ah, I see.

In the next instant, I’m jumping off of the floating disk. There were four scraping noises, almost immediately after.
Then, hanging over the edge of the floating disk, I asked Kaja, ‘Did it work?’

Kaja’s answer was simple.
“Yes. The enemy forces have been annihilated.”
I climbed up on the floating disk before the power of my ‘Great Strength’ wore off. This is the only one of the pre-chanted techniques that I could use in a hurry.

“That’s the ‘Shell of the World’ all right.”
On the floating disk, there are four creepy creatures jumping around. The shiny black things were bent and the transparent wings, reminiscent of dragonflies, were torn apart.
And the floating saucer did not have a scratch on it.

I had dodged the flying leech’s charge just in time and intentionally had them crash into the floating disk. The flying leeches would have skewered a bird, but they had gone against the wrong opponent this time.
I suddenly became curious and stared at the sharp moths of the flying leech.

“This mouth…”
“I thought it was made of carbon or calcium, but it’s got iron in it.”
“What’s wrong with that?”

“The iron from the bloodsucking must have been used to form a mouth, which was used as a weight to stabilize its posture during the dive. It can also crush the bones of birds. Very interesting.”
“More importantly, master, Lady Mariam is trying to contact you.”

I could hear Mariam’s worried voice.
‘Chevaldin? Weren’t you just fighting something?’
‘I’ve just had four flying leeches relentlessly attacking me. It’s all over now. I guess they were no match for the Shell of the World.’
‘The shell of the world?’

While explaining the situation, I kicked the still-moving flying leeches off of the floating disk.
‘The flying leech is not a creature that would normally attack humans. Human bones are much tougher than those of birds, so it is too risky to pierce them deeply. Besides, it moved as if it was being controlled by something.’

‘Does that mean that those ‘leeches’ were being used by someone else…?’
‘I think so. It seems that someone who isn’t Zephyr thinks ill of me. These were assassins.’
‘I’m sure Zephyr wouldn’t use such an uncertain and roundabout method. He’s capable of summoning a swarm of dragons.’

Then Kaja said.
“So, you assume that an unidentified adversary has discovered your identity, correct?”
“Ah… I’m not sure. But I think it’s better to think that it is the case.”
At the very least, someone doesn’t think that I’m just a new student.

Feeling depressed that my true identity had been exposed even before I had infiltrated the place, I was carried away by the floating disk.
After arriving at the other side of the cliffs, I was warned by the sorcerers who controlled the floating saucers that we were not supposed to fool around or play by hanging from them.

‘I’m the victim here. It’s not very fair.’
‘You really never change.’
For some reason, Mariam started to giggle.

Next Chapter

The Hiding Wise Man Can Not Hide

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I don’t think people discovered his real identity like he’s worrying about. If they had then they wouldn’t have sent something so weak to try to kill him with. It’s probably some nobles or maybe an enemy country that heard he placed highly in the entrance exam and want to kill him so he can’t become a powerful enemy to them later.

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