The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

REAPER SCANS

 

The 31st Piece Turns the Tables

[Translator –  goguma]

[Proofreader – Karane]

 

Chapter 213

 

Death.

It was a word that sent chills down the spines of those without faith.

Bren, one of the top knights of the Veregion Knights, felt death's touch once more.

It felt not like a lump in his throat, but rather, a sword in his mouth.

‘I-I’m going to die.’

Bren was certain that a single misstep, or even a single word that could agitate Seol, would lead to his death.

He was acting this way because of the reasonable, logical conclusions he had reached quite a while ago.

It was the conclusion he had arrived at after dealing with the cartel and visiting Adeline’s royal laboratory.

 

- So you’re telling me it wasn’t broken?

- Yes, it never was. What made you believe it was broken in the first place, Sir Bren?

- Obviously, I would think it was broken when it said a transferee had over 100 million points. Transferees are essentially children all born on the same day. It’s natural to be suspicious when, in a sea of crawling toddlers, a man with a full beard shows up!

 

Seol was the man with a full beard Bren was referring to, while the crawling toddlers were the other transferees he had met so far.

The researcher was confused after hearing that.

 

- There was nothing wrong with the goggles, though. They’re still fully operational and collecting information.

- Then that means…

- If there is an oddity, it would be the ‘man with a full beard’ and not the goggles. Don’t you think?

- …I’m asking if 100 million is a reasonable point total.

- Was he weak?

- No, he was strong.

- How strong?

 

Bren thought for a moment, recalling Seol leaping around the city like a playground.

 

- He was a little… no, very strong?

- Hm?

- He was definitely strong. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a transferee that strong. I could definitely understand how he would have 100 million combat points…

- Haha! So you understood it but couldn’t believe it? There’s nothing for me to fix then, I guess.

- …I apologize, I was mistaken. I should have just accepted that he was that strong.

 

The researcher then smiled.

 

- You must always destroy your preconceived notions if you want to truly learn. I’m sure today was just one of those incidents.

- Then… What should I do if I meet that transferee again?

- Didn’t you say that you fought together? Why would you be…

- I’m asking this on the off chance that… he and I will be enemies.

- Sir Bren, you know about shooting stars, right?

 

Bren scoffed after hearing that.

 

- Of course. You’re referring to how people make wishes when they see them, right? Why are you saying that right now… Are you… treating me like a little kid?

- No, not at all. Couldn't you just think of meeting him as seeing a shooting star?

- …What do you mean?

- Because you’d die if he hits you. Shooting stars are meteorites at the end of the day, after all. Also, you’d make a wish.

- …A wish?

 

The researcher scratched her head before answering.

 

- I’m sure he would let you go if you begged for your life, right?

 

On that note, Bren was currently fucked.

‘It’s him, it’s so obviously him!’

Bren didn't have the best look at them, but the dark energy gathering in their hands was undoubtedly familiar.

‘Why did he have to come to my area!’

The black energy began to grow even more.

Bren began to waver even more after seeing it as it reminded him of the cartel members that the individual in front of him had killed.

He then recalled a few words his mother had left him with.

 

- Bren, the most important thing is your life, alright? Honor and trust aren’t as important as long as you can live.

- How could you say that, honey?! Bren will follow in my footsteps and become an honorable—

- Got it, Bren? Don’t be an idiot. Treasure your life.

 

The words of Charlotte, his late mother, echoed in his mind once more.

Suddenly, Bren’s chest began to feel hot. His heart was pounding louder and louder.

‘I need to survive! It is strong to survive!’

Bren racked his brain as fast as he could, trying to come up with something.

The only thoughts in his mind were how he could prevent the situation from escalating any further.

“Sir Bren? Did you find anything?”

“Ah! I… didn’t.”

“It must have been a beast then, huh?”

“It must have been, hahaha…”

However, Seol maintained the black energy.,

‘Damn it! That wasn’t enough?’

Bren was desperate, to the point that he would have begged for his life if the others weren’t near him.

However, as there were too many eyes, he searched for another method.

“By the way… Don’t you think we’re too close together?”

“Huh?”

Fade…

Seol pulled back a bit of the black energy.

‘So that’s it!’

Bren quickly calmed his pounding heart and retreated toward his men.

“We weren’t even assigned that much ground to cover… This is terribly ineffective. Wouldn’t you agree?”

“Weren’t we forced into this position because a lot of knights were dispatched? I thought you were the one most eager to do this, Sir Bren.”

“No, I wasn’t. I was never eager to do this!”

“...What?”

“Ahem… Do you really think they would be foolish enough to go through here? There are more people here than trees.”

“I mean… I would get scared off too, yeah.”

“Exactly! And I, Bren, am also worried about everyone’s well-being.”

“I’m fine.”

“It isn’t fine!” shouted Bren. “We might face situations like this in the future as well, but this way of doing things is completely unrealistic. An excellent leader shouldn’t be wearing down their men’s stamina for an enemy who has yet to arrive. As someone who dreams of becoming an excellent leader, I, Bren, will split us into three groups. I want the other two groups to rest at the base uphill.”

“S-Sir Bren…”

“In three groups too…”

“I can’t believe you thought of us like that… hrgh…”

The knights, in awe, looked at Bren with teary eyes.

“Now, I’ll split up the groups, so gather around.”

“B-But our line…”

“No! How else would we divide it fairly? All men must gather now, quickly!”

Their positions quickly crumbled as the knights gathered at Bren’s command.

“Now… well…”

Bren glanced at where he last saw Seol, confirming that he and the others had left.

“Fuuu…”

 

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator - goguma

Proofreader - Karane

Join our Discord for updates on releases! https://dsc.gg/reapercomics

* * *

 

[[You are currently wandering through the Bragrand Mountains. The soldiers patrolling the mountains are constantly moving. Which direction will you head?]

1. Toward a ridge to the right.

2. Toward a far-off cliff.

……]

 

“Haah… Haah…”

It required an immense amount of effort to move without exposing one’s presence.

It was especially difficult for the injured Chadorf, and the frail Riona, as they couldn’t ride their horses. Exhausted, they continued to gasp for air.

'The most dangerous thing would be stopping.'

Despite that, Seol continued forward. He kept finding gaps and openings in the soldiers’ guard.

To the right.

“Still no news?”

“There would have been a commotion if there was.”

To the right again.

“This is so stupid.”

“Our job is to follow orders. What can we do?”

Left this time.

“Maybe they went another way?”

“Or it could be tomorrow instead of today.”

Seol’s decisions had been correct so far. However, an issue arose as they headed toward the narrow channel at the center of the mountains.

Caw…

A bird just happened to cry as Seol was passing by.

“Huh?”

Seol and the soldier locked eyes. They undeniably noticed each other.

“Intru—”

Fwip!

Woosh…

Seol quickly struck the back of the knight’s neck with his hand, knocking them out cold, and carefully placed them on the ground.

Seol shot a glare at the bird that had made noise.

Caw caw…

However, the bird only stared back at him. Reflecting on his behavior, Seol sighed.

“Haah…”

The situation was not good.

‘Rather than helping me, they’re only making things worse.’

It was to the point that Seol almost became frustrated at an innocent animal.

‘Huh? But this bird…’

It seemed similar to the bird that Seol saw in the Nogurs Mountains.

‘Don’t tell me it followed me all the way here… right?’

Caw caw…

Seol noticed more birds as well.

‘What is this… feeling…?’

Bathump…

Seol's heart began to pound like it did when he was passing through the smuggling route.

Flap flap flap…

The birds all took off from the trees at once.

‘...It’s definitely not just in my head.’

A chill ran down Seol’s spine.

However, it wasn’t something he could dwell on for long right now.

Seol quickly headed to the rift at the center of the Bragrand Mountains, a location he had been worried about since the start.

- I recommend you stop right there.

‘...I felt it too.’

- Magicians… I sense two different wavelengths up ahead. The first is a wavelength that deters the use of mana, and the other is a wavelength that scouts for any mana that isn’t on record.

‘How are they using both at the same time?’

-  It’s definitely possible; it’s just a matter of which you set up first. However, there is a weakness.

At times like these… there was no better summon than Ur.

‘A weakness?’

- For spells where sequence is important, just tripping the flow a little is more than enough to make it fail. I can change the order so that their search spell conflicts with their mana-deterring spell.

A large-range jamming.

‘Wouldn’t they realize it, though?’

- They won’t. The mana will flow exactly like it did before. I’m sure they’ll be clueless for a while. Also, I’ll be able to take all of the leaking mana for myself, but…

Ur shifted to a more serious tone.

- The flow will be unnatural, meaning once they realize the mana was tampered with, it essentially ensures that there is an intruder. Therefore… don’t get caught. It’ll be troublesome if you do.

Nod.

 

[Ur, the Sealed’s Wizardry activates.]

[Ur, the Sealed, deciphers the unidentified spell.]

[Spell deciphering in progress.]

[The spell has been successfully deciphered.]

 

Ur was now able to manipulate mana much more easily.

- Done.

Step…

Seol and the others entered the rift, making sure to stay near the darkest places.

Step step…

“Hm?” said a magician guarding the rift.

“What is it?”

“No… It’s nothing.”

“That’s good.”

The security here was much more lax than earlier.

It was a gap formed because of the faith they had put into their trap.

“There’s no way they can slip past all of us.”

“I doubt they’ve already slipped past… right?”

“That’s impossible.”

“Well… Even if they did, we have a bunch of transferees behind us. It’ll be fine.”

“I still remember the commotion they caused about wanting to be on the front lines this morning…”

“Right? I have no idea why they were going so far…”

Flap flap flap!

“Wh-what the hell?!”

“Birds?”

A flock of birds landed on a nearby tree.

The magicians wore worried expressions due to the birds’ strange behavior.

“Were they… exposed to mana?”

“No way… We made sure it wouldn’t harm living things.”

“Then why would the birds… Hm?”

“What is it?”

“...We need to report this to Sir Heinkel.”

“What?”

“Quickly!”

- They found out. I was able to feast on a bunch of mana, but… a detection spell will be scanning everything nearby. You need to move, fast.

Seol and the others picked up the pace at Ur’s word.

However, it didn’t take long for their surroundings to be filled with lit torches and loud voices.

“Intruders! They’re already here!”

“It’s the princess! Princess Riona is trying to cross the mountains!”

“Find her! Search everything!”

Soldiers entered the area in droves.

In fact, even the soldiers from the earlier line returned to search for Seol and the others.

“Get back! We’ve received information that they’ve already slipped past!”

“They’re already through!”

Seol and the others sped up.

“Haah… Haah…”

“Your Highness, we need to run!”

“Haah…”

“Hrgh… Grgh…”

Magicians continued to light up the area from behind with illumination magic in an attempt to find them.

Glooooow!

Fwoosh!

Fwooosh!

“Find them! They’re definitely here!”

“The knights will arrive soon! Locate them, at least!”

It was definitely a problem behind them, but the bigger issue lay ahead.

“Yeahhhhhh!”

“They’re coming here!”

“Get them! We’ll get all of the rewards if we catch them!”

“Catch them before the knights arrive!”

“I can’t see! The useless ones should just fuck off already!”

“What did you say?!”

Seol wondered if this was what a group of starving cats would look like.

“Over there! There! I found them!” someone shouted.

The individual who shouted that was definitely smart. After all, they only shouted. They didn’t take a single step toward Seol, avoiding exposing themselves.

If they had taken a step forward, Seol would have likely killed them to prevent them from saying anything.

Seol scowled.

“Over there!”

“They’re there!!! They won’t be able to slip past us now!”

“Your Highness!” shouted Chadorf. “The earl and I will stop them! Crow, take Her Highness…”

“Wrong,” interrupted Seol. “The two of you won’t be able to stop them.”

“Then what else are we supposed to do?!”

“Just… Just give me some time.”

The situation was beginning to resemble a battlefield.

Seol had already summoned Karuna and Karen to protect them.

And like a faint whisper, Seol only caught fragments of their voices.

“Who… that! …sferees to us, and…”

“Stop your bullshit! …yeah?!”

“Ahhh! What the hell? Don’t shoot!”

They were all slaves to their greed.

The hyenas were fighting among themselves in front of the lion over who should take the rewards.

‘I guess this is as far as I can go.’

Seol no longer had a choice but to accept that he had to fight the transferees to fulfill his goals.

He had no option but to take their lives.

The world could never be kept purely good. No matter how much an innocent child tries to straighten those crooked lines, there comes a time when they must dip their toes into blood.

It was now time for Seol to make a decision.

‘I could definitely open up a way if I kill them all, but…’

Countless transferees would die at his hands.

Was this really the right decision?

While Seol definitely wasn’t a good person, he also wasn’t a bad one.

Seol wouldn’t have hesitated if the transferees in front of him were evil. However, he wasn't cold-hearted enough to kill hundreds of innocent transferees.

At least… until now.

However, Seol hesitated as he knew there was a price to pay. Once he crossed this line, there was no coming back.

“It’s… fine now.”

As Seol was lost in thought, Princess Riona sorted the situation. She ran ahead of Seol before greeting him with teary eyes.

“You’ve already done all you can for me. That was… more than enough.”

“Your Highness!”

“Not yet! It’s still too early to give up!”

“I didn’t give up,” Riona sniffled, smiling at her two loyal but foolish subjects. “I’ve simply accepted my fate after doing my best.”

“What are you…”

“Those lunatics are only aiming for me. So you guys should…”

Bathump…

Seol’s heart began to pound fiercely.

Sensing it as well, Ur brought Seol good news.

- I can temporarily suppress all of the mana here. If you can escape during that opening, you’ll be able to escape from the magicians.

Seol shook his head.

‘It’s impossible. There are too many knights and transferees.’

- Then, unless you can fly, everyone will die. Is that what you want? If it’s…

“Fly… huh…?”

Caw… Caw…

Seol glanced at the birds from earlier, the very ones that had exposed their location.

Bathump… bathump…

"Yeah, no wonder… I thought I lost my mind for a second.”

- What do you… mean?

“I would rather die!” shouted Chadorf.

“Hurry!” shouted Riona. “If all of you can escape before they close in on us… maybe you guys will be able to…”

Excited, Seol cut off Riona.

“Riona.”

“...Yes?”

“We only have one opportunity, got it?”

“What are you talking about?” shouted Riona. “Now’s not the time for this! You need to escape now, or all of us will be—”

“Get on my back.”

“What the… Uhh…”

Seol quickly picked up Riona and began sprinting. As he did, Chadorf and Earl Brispin quickly followed.

“Get them!”

“We’re almost caught up!”

“Drive them into a corner!”

“What the hell are you saying?! We might end up hitting each other! Make sure to maintain distance!”

As the transferees and knights rushed them down…

Caaaaaaaw!

Above the birds, something emerged from the clouds.

It looked like a meteorite.

“Wh-what the hell is that?!”

“...A griffin?”

It was certainly not a griffin.

There wasn’t even a hint of griffin on it. Its sturdy wings were much more massive than a griffin’s, and it had a bird’s body, not a lion's. Not to mention… the flames that continued to gather near its beak.

Fwoooosh…

The flames continued to gather and billow.

“R-Ruuuuuuun!”

FWOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

A ray of fire spilled across the mountains.

Fwooosh…

It was a warning. They were not allowed to cross that line.

Seol then sprinted faster toward the strange bird approaching them.

“Koopaaaaaaaa! Over here!” shouted Seol.

Caaaaaaaaaaaw!

Bathump…

The reason Seol’s heart had pounded so fiercely was because of their connection. Their close proximity had intensified their resonance.

“I knew it was you!”

 

[Helper ‘Koopa, the Vulture’ has appeared in this Adventure.]

[Helper ‘Koopa, the Vulture’ will join you in this Adventure as an ally.]

 

Seol’s friend had returned much larger than before, with an even larger beak and wings.

“Get on Koopa!”

“Th-that’s Koopa?”

“How did…”

Boooooom!

“Krrrrgh!”

“Block them!”

“Use spells now!”

Koopa kicked up the dirt to block their view.

- Hmph! Who do you think you’re attacking?!

Wooooooooosh!

Ur casted the mana suppression spell that he had been preparing since earlier.

“O-Our mana’s dissipating!”

“Then shower them with arrows!”

Fft! Fft! Fft!

Fwoooosh!

Karuna’s Black Wave repelled all of the projectiles.

“Now!” shouted Seol.

Caaaaaaaaw!

Koopa, Kiri’s true inheritance, had opened a path for Seol in the sky.

Fwoosh… Fwoosh…

Dust kicked up with each flap of his massive wings.

Their arrival was as swift as their departure.

____

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