[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
“…What do you mean by—”
“This can only mean one thing, right? Moreover, the Knight Commander, Bernadette, and her Vice Commander, Zenoah Almerida, are supposedly the only ones who can wield magic in the order if I remember correctly.”
Hence why the presence of the knight in front of us who can use『Disorientation』magic was all the more strange.
“So you’re saying that… he’s only pretending to be a knight?”
I said so as I stared at the unidentified knight standing before our path, showing no signs of moving at all.
“I’d say it’s the most likely possibility.”
And perhaps, the man in front of us was the ‘Magician Hunter’ in question.
As I was thinking so, the man then pointed his finger at me, and then at the girl beside me, Sofia.
“I mean no harm to the two of you. Get out of the capital.”
A cold, uncanny voice that I didn't remember ever hearing before stirred our eardrums.
There was room to exchange words, apparently.
No, considering the situation, this might be because he wanted to create an environment where we could exchange words.
At the very least, at this moment, there wasn’t any sense of hostility.
“Because I have no reason to kill you two.”
It was as if he was saying he would kill everyone who resided in the capital— my brows wrinkled in disbelief to his reply.
“Hence, it’s why I have given you this opportunity.”
“…Heh? By the way, can I assume that you’re the ‘Magician Hunter’ that I’ve been hearing so much about?”
I asked as if I had nothing to lose.
To which he replied—
“I don’t know who you mean by ‘Magician Hunter,’ but if that’s someone who’s been going around the capital and killing magicians, then yes, it’s me.”
He answered kindly.
And if that was indeed the case, it was all the more reason to dismiss my concerns here.
Immediately after making the decision came my attempt to chant the words I needed to activate my magic,『Sword: Creation』
“I thought I already gave you a reason to not turn your sword against me, didn’t I?”
His unexpected words stopped me right in my tracks.
…Yes, the reason why I was thinking of defeating the Magician Hunter was that it served as a huge threat to me and other close magicians that I know, especially Sofia.
But contrary to my doubts, the man in front of me who claimed to be the ‘Magician Hunter’ assured me otherwise if I left the capital.
I had no proof that his words were true, but if that was really the case, then my whole reason for turning my sword against him was now gone.
“I already told you that I have no plan of harming you two had you left the capital, but why do you still intend to go against me?”
“…And I’m supposed to honestly believe that?”
I asked suspiciously, but the man only shook his head in response.
“I think you’re mistaken, but you only have two choices. Stay here and become prey, or leave and be safe. That’s it. There’s no room for compromises.”
So basically, all I was allowed to do was to pick between the two, and the man in front of me wouldn’t care no matter how much I doubted it.
“…I see. But how can I trust someone who doesn’t come straight to me and use such magic for an opportunity to speak instead?”
Since we’re already been under his『Disorientation』magic, we’re also as good as being in his territory.
It may be a bit too much to ask for trust and assurance when he already made a situation where he could easily kill us all if he really wanted to.
But I wasn’t such an easy guy to honestly believe the words of such a person, thus:
I unleashed my sword.
“You can try and stand up against me all you want, but I don’t think you should be wasting my conscience.”
“Yes, that’s right. This is an act completely out of conscience. Do you think I’m just going around killing magicians for pleasure?”
I couldn’t answer his question.
I really hadn’t thought about why the ‘Magician Hunter’ kills magicians as he does.
“I can’t really blame you nor that little girl for not knowing why… You two have nothing to do with it, after all.”
And hence, my conscience, he added.
“I may be a murderer, but I’m not a lowlife who kills just anyone. I murder in my own righteous way.”
So don’t get in my way, he followed.
The pressure didn’t only come out of his words, but his body as well.
“…I don't think there is any justice or bullshit in going around killing people.”
You’re just a criminal.
If they were irredeemable, they probably wouldn't have gotten into this mess.
Besides, as we speak, the killing would still continue and most likely include Lilea.
[Translator – Niel ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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“I have no desire for anyone to understand the right or wrong of what I am doing. This is just self-satisfaction, a personal way for me to settle my affairs with the past. Therefore, I'm not asking for your opinion. Do you understand?”
Right after my retort, the man in front of me immediately shut it down, rejecting it, saying he doesn’t trust anything but himself.
“Then it’s no wonder I’m pointing my sword at you like this.”
Saying so, I pointed the tip of the weapon in my hand at the man.
It was a very natural conclusion.
He doesn’t want to come to terms and understand what he is doing.
It’s only natural for me to deny it like so and stand my ground against the murderer in front of me.
I didn’t believe words coming from such a dangerous person, and most importantly, I couldn’t leave him alone.
“Don’t even think of trying. You have no chance against me.”
The man in front of me, saying so, showed no sign of drawing the sword at his waist.
…Is it because he’s convinced that he can’t lose even if he doesn’t draw his sword?
If so, that's convenient.
I would be more than happy to take advantage of that pride.
I put strength into my legs and tried to shift my center of gravity to close in on him.
But soon after, I was grabbed by something hard on my shoulder.
The slight clawing of what I'd say are fingernails seemed to be telling me to knock it off.
I looked back over my shoulder and saw Lilea with a rather bitter expression on her face.
“…I’d prefer not to do that now.”
I thought she’d tell me not to be reckless, but she instead told me not to try challenging him at all.
Lilea stopped me, telling me not to reveal my hand.
“Since we are under a『Disorientation』magic, what we see may not even true in the first place. Perhaps that person… might only seem to be here when he’s truly not.”
“…Even though we can hear his voice?”
“...That's the kind of magic it is. And at least if that guy is the real ‘Magician Hunter,’ he probably won’t try to kill us now.”
And thus, there was no need for me to force the challenge right now, she added.
Besides, if we looked at his cycle, we would have two more days before he actually strikes again. Why dare to make and stick with rules only to easily break them one day? I couldn’t think of any proper reason.
But was Lilea right in her assumption?
“It’s just as she said. I have no intention of killing you today.”
It’s as if to say that if it were any other day, he would’ve killed us.
“…Um, can I ask you something?”
As I slowly lowered the tip of the sword I was holding, I asked the man in front of me a question.
He already told me he wouldn’t entertain my questions, but I still wanted to ask him.
“I understand that you kill magicians for your own reasons, but I’m having a hard time understanding the point of your obsession. Can you enlighten me on that one?”
He kills for a reason.
And if it’s really as he says, it’s for justice.
That much I understand.
But then why kill a magician once every five days like a criminal?
I couldn’t understand for the life of me the reason for making, following, and being consistent with such a rule.
If you want to kill, kill.
You can let your impulse decide and kill as many people as you want.
But for some reason, the ‘Magician Hunter’ didn’t want to do so.
“—It’s simple. And that’s because there are those who want to strike fear into the hearts of the people.”
How whimsical of them, the man answers.
“Five days becomes four. Four days becomes three. Three days to two. The interval gradually narrows, and the magicians are disappearing one after another. That way, you can maximize the fear that one might be next, right?”
“Wasn’t your reason for doing so for justice?”
Then it's just another pleasure-seeking crime, isn't it?
“Justice, it’s sure justice. I wouldn’t have made that rule if it weren’t for the justice I seek.”
I realized that it was futile to try to understand.
No matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t understand.
It was the conclusion that I reached.
“Let me put it simply so that even you, a child, can understand—”
The man must have realized that I had given up trying to understand him.
“—This is revenge. My own revenge against the magician scum of the capital, that is.”
As soon as he finished declaring so, the『Disorientation』magic that had been cast upon us was broken, leaving our vision distorted.
“I don’t care whether you’re an outsider or not. If you get in the way of my revenge, I will kill you, even women and children alike. I gave you my advice.”
And not long after, our vision became clear and went back to normal.
Except that the ‘Magician Hunter’ that was just in front of us was no longer anywhere to be seen.
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