Mightiest Melee Magician
[ Translator - Jreaming ]
[ Proofreader - Artethrax ]
Irene stopped casting the devastating spell and came down the cliffside, into the gorge.
She then said,
“That might have been dangerous. But why are you holding onto that ‘silver mane’?”
“......I don’t know. Looks like it got ripped out before.”
I just brushed off the question and put it into my bag.
Irene kept wondering why I was holding onto it, but I just focused on the quest.
‘Silver Werewolf’s Mane’
The disaster of South Mountain. The fur of the silver werewolf, Mentos.
Can be used as proof of Mentos’ death.
Goal: Find someone who would like this fur.
Find someone who would like this fur......
This was the only thing in the quest description.
Unlike my previous quests, which were clear in their goals and rewards, this was quite the unhelpful quest.
‘Can be used as the proof of death? Did someone want Mentos dead?’
I could only stand there guessing.
Then, Irene spoke up.
“There’s been a weird rumor between the students in the Empire.”
“That the winner of the Grand Festival is a half-ogre.”
Calling someone a half-ogre.
Wasn’t that too much?
No, did something like that even exist?
Was the power of human reproduction that strong?
“Since I’ve seen it myself, I obviously don’t believe it...... But that form you showed before... It makes me think that the rumor isn’t baseless.”
The form of Kunkhan that appeared behind my back.
Of course, I could understand why rumors like this were floating around.
My strength had definitely surpassed that of an ordinary human’s.
However, I didn’t need to make up any special excuses.
“Is it because of the artifact you got selected by at the Magic Tower?”
The story where I had acquired ‘Kunkhan’s Tooth’, a pretty extraordinary artifact, at the Magic Tower.
This was known by most as an open secret.
“Yes. That’s right.”
Of course, I didn’t say anything about how the ogres on Sky Mountain refined it for me.
I brushed off this question again and got on my horse.
“Should we start going again? I think arriving at Eight-Lake before complete darkness would be better.”
“Yes. Let’s do that.”
Thankfully, Irene didn’t inquire too deeply, and we used Trace again to start moving toward Eight-Lake.
Luckily, we didn’t run into any more humanoid monsters.
* * *
Eight-Lake was a city without a gate.
The rumor that they would accept anyone, even pirates, if they had money wasn’t baseless at all.
Because of this, there was no need for identification or a nameplate when being active here.
No, to be more precise, it was correct to say that no one cared for the identity of others.
Multiple tens of thousands of people visited this place every day, and since the visitors come from all over the continent, people didn’t really care about the identities of them.
This worked in our favor while we were ‘illegal immigrants’.
“For the border to be this lax......”
“There’s no need to increase security. Eight-Lake is under the protection of the Empire.”
“Yes. I guess that’s true. It just feels too empty.”
We arrived at Eight-Lake at about 10 in the night.
Since we were entering illegally, we didn’t have any place we had booked before, so our feet naturally took us toward a local inn.
An inn, huh?
Naturally, it wasn’t a place two 16-year-olds were familiar with.
We were obviously going to book two rooms, but we couldn’t get ourselves to enter, and stood around awkwardly.
“......Ehem. Then, should we go in?”
I mustered my courage to go in first, and Irene followed behind me.
The owner of the inn glanced at us briefly before saying,
“One room with a big bed. 40 silver. How about breakfast in the morning?”
One room with a big bed.
Hearing this, Irene’s face went red as she looked straight down, and I hurriedly shook my head to deny this.
“Ah? No. No. Never. Please give us two rooms.”
“Two rooms? Aren’t you married?”
What was she talking about?
And what were those eyes saying she’d gossip about this later?
We’re still only 16.
* * *
Translator - Jreaming
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
I woke up in the morning, and after cleaning myself off a little, I went down to the first floor.
The dining hall on the first floor was empty, and it looked like Irene hadn’t come down yet.
I took some rye bread and corn soup.
I ordered salty bacon with a bean-based breakfast, and as my meal arrived, Irene came down to the hall.
“Ah. How was your rest?”
“......It was fine.”
What was this?
It was so natural to see each other in our inns during the Grand Festival.
Why was it so awkward now?
Well, it was true that it was just us two right now.
This was unbearably awkward.
I tried to break the awkwardness with a dry cough and started talking.
“I’ll tell you about the plan for today.”
“I heard that, every morning at 11, the 8 representatives gather in one place to have a lunch-time meeting. The place of their meeting is over there, the Halls of Gold.
Even though we searched for this inn in the dark of the night, we didn’t go into just any inn.
The building in which the 8 representatives had their meeting every lunch, the great mansion built in the middle of the intersection of the eight lakes.
The Halls of Gold.
We set up our base camp in a spot where we could see that building.
As I officially started to go over the plan, the awkwardness from before had disappeared and Irene focused up.
“We’ll need to go look for them when they are all gathered together.”
“…Just barge in?”
“Would they even meet us if we did that? I’m pretty sure we need to make an appointment.”
“We’ll just make that appointment now.”
This was the end of my plan.
Irene narrowed her eyes at my planless plan......
But she knew that my confidence wasn’t baseless.
“I guess this is only possible because you’re Ruin.”
The magician who garnered the attention of the crown prince of the Raynac Empire.
Saying it myself was a bit embarrassing, but exaggerating a little, most people wanted to meet me.
This was the truth.
“Did you make an appointment?”
11 in the morning.
As if competing, 8 golden carriages all stopped in front of the building. and after confirming this, I left the inn and crossed the lake.
However, the city guards stopped and questioned me, and I replied honestly.
“I didn’t make an appointment.”
“If you didn’t make one before, you cannot cross over this point. This is the private property of the 8 representatives of Eight-Lake.”
“Yes, I know. I’ll wait here. Instead, can you relay a message for me?”
“If you want to officially make an appointment, you need to fill in a form at the capitol building, and after about a week of confirmation, you may receive a reply—”
“Winner of the Grand Festival. You can just relay that Ruin Ardell has come to meet them.”
Winner of the Grand Festival.
After hearing this, the guards became stunned.
Even if one had no interest in magic, everyone knew about the Grand Festival.
They would also know just what kind of treatment the winning magicians received.
On top of that, if you were a state within the Raynac empire, you would have more than the average level of interest in magic.
The expressions of the guards changed in an instant.
“......Can you confirm this?”
Now, I was no longer an unwelcome guest, but rather a celebrity that needed their identity confirmed.
I produced an identification that had Ardell’s owl insignia, and the attitude of the guards switched again.
“I-I apologize for not recognising you.”
“That’s fine. More than that, can you do what I requested?”
The guards fell into a dilemma.
Going inside to relay my message and disturbing them was probably not the best thing to do, but if they turned me away here, they might receive some backlash later.
It wasn’t any manner of clean problem for them to solve.
Ehm… I felt a little sorry for them.
“What’s going on here?”
Just then, the captain of the guards came out and was filled in on the situation, and after confirming my name, he didn’t take long to come to a conclusion.
“You bastards! You should know who to let in and who to turn away. Go in now and tell the butler that an important guest arrived.”
“So should I wait here?”
“No. I’ll lead you to the lobby right now. Please, follow me.”
As the captain started to move to guide me, he saw Irene standing behind me and stopped.
Irene handed over her identification expressionlessly.
After also confirming her name, the captain’s expression became grimmer.
The next-generational magician who would lead the Raynac Empire’s future.
There wasn’t a citizen of the Empire who didn’t know her name.
“It’s an honor to meet you. For two incredible people to visit...... Today is quite an interesting day. The representatives will be surprised to meet you.”
Irene and I followed the captain into the Halls of Gold.
“It’s very fancy......”
“It really is.”
This was probably the fanciest building I had ever seen with my own two eyes.
If the crown prince’s Peony Palace was beautiful and harmonious, the Halls of Gold were, as the name suggested, fancy enough to overbear its visitors.
It was as if it was asking if we had the right to be here.
The hallways weren’t decorated with marble, but rather gold.
Statues, pillars, and even the door handles were gold in color.
It was enough to make my 42 thousand gold feel like nothing.
The wait wasn’t long.
“The representatives have made their decision.”
“What did they say?”
“They want you in immediately.”
“That’s a relief.”
It was a success till here.
The only thing left was to hear their definite answer.
Fancy was too poor a word to describe this golden gate as it opened to a wide room.
In the center of this room was one round table, and around it sat 8 people.
These people were the 8 representatives of Eight-Lake.
They looked at me with curiosity, and I gave a light nod.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Ruin Ardell.”
There was no need to act weak, since I wasn’t here to request something, but to confidently make an offer.
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