* * *
A transparent wind barrier formed over the mucus-soaked floor. Modeleine loudly ordered the panicked knights to retreat, and they were able to escape safely under Cadel’s protection.
‘Again. He must have loaded up on magic this time, too.’
As soon as Cadel closed the barrier, the mucus pillars that had been clogged in places soared. And between those pillars, Ergo’s tiny pupils flashed.
“I’ll give you high marks for a death-defying trick.”
“Shut up. I break out in hives just hearing your voice.”
Cadel concentrated his mana in his hands. The magic spell was directed straight ahead, and a fierce gust of wind swept through the house where Ergo was located.
The winds raged without mercy, slicing through the half-built wooden structure like the claws of a beast. It collapsed in one fell swoop as if caught in a storm. The roof was gone, the walls were gone, and the only thing left in the empty space was Ergo, sprawled on the floor.
Cadel said, his gaze fixed on Ergo as he withdrew his mana.
“Sir Modeleine. There’s a magic circle in the form of a swamp beneath where he’s standing, and he’s using dangerous magic through it, so we need to break it first.”
“I can’t believe such a magic circle exists in the world…….”
“He’s a demon. It’s his own game.”
“I understand the risk, but there’s no way we can safely reach the swamp at this point, and if we move with the barrier up, we won’t have enough mana to disarm the circle―”
“Leave the cover to me.”
Cadel immediately created a wind barrier that wrapped around Modeleine’s body.
It was the man who had been talking to him just moments before. There was no sign of a chant. Modeleine’s eyes narrowed at the flow of mana around him.
Cadel pushed past Modeleine and looked at the knights behind him. The knights exposed to the mucus had suffered injuries both great and small.
“All I can cover is Sir Modeleine. For the rest, I think it’s better for them to go to those who are currently protecting the villagers.”
The Twilight Knight Order was made up of strong men who have swept across countless battlefields. There were no weaklings hoping to be taken out of the fray with a few wounds.
But Modeleine decided to listen to Cadel. The current knights were drained of mana, unable to heal themselves or attack from a distance, and their wounds would not allow them to fight in close combat amidst the endless mucus bombs. It was better to swap with the knights from the temporary garrison.
In the meantime, it was just him and Cadel against the demon.
‘……The mana I feel is extraordinary. I don’t think we’ll fail.’
Cadel’s calm hazel eyes revealed no fear. Few could hide their agitation in the face of danger. It seemed like a good idea to trust him.
“You must hold the village firmly in place until Commander Garuel arrives. Call in the knights from the temporary garrison for support, and you will prioritize the safety of the villagers. Hurry!”
The knights were reluctant to retreat, but they would not disobey Modeleine’s orders. Cadel grabbed one of the knights before they could move on.
“I’m sure there are some of my subordinates in the garrison, and we have some herbs to help restore mana, tell them to distribute to the wounded holy knights.”
“Thank, thank you! As a holy knight of the Twilight Knight Order, your grace is never―”
With that, the knights retreated. Cadel slowly turned his head to look at Ergo, who hadn’t launched any attacks until the knights were gone.
‘Ergo doesn’t care if they run away, he’s going to turn the villagers of the garrison into monsters anyway, so this is his chance to make a sweeping arrest.’
「Time remaining 09 : 23 : 09」
He had plenty of time. Having found Ergo quickly enough to overshadow his concerns, Cadel only needed to kill him in the remaining 9 hours.
‘This time, I will settle the score.’
I won’t be wasting my time with ridiculous mistakes anymore.
“I’ll block all attacks, so Sir Modeleine just needs to go down that hole without getting caught.”
Where Cadel gestured was a giant hole that had been torn open when Ergo first appeared. Surely the swamp was down there.
“Are you sure about that? The demon’s attack might be focused on Sir Cadel, not me.”
“That’s even better, because my specialty is counterattack, not protection.”
Blue electricity crackled in his lightly flexed hands.
Just a moment ago, he was creating a wind barrier, and now he was using lightning. A multi-attribute magician?
Before the startled Modeleine could reflexively open his mouth, Cadel hurled the bolt of electric current he’d generated at the floor.
“I’m going to give you a signal, and you’re going to run.”
The currents that spread out along the impact began to sprint toward Ergo’s front. Branching out like roots, the currents moved fluidly across each other’s bodies.
“You’re a nuisance.”
Ergo fired a barrage of mucus to block the currents. The current streaks that were hit by the mucus were trapped in it and could go no further.
But only some of the currents were tethered. Most were free to swim across the floor and evade the attack.
And in a flash, the currents reached Ergo’s feet and wrapped around his ankles as he stumbled backward.
Cadel poured his mana over the electric current that had grabbed Ergo.