Swordmaster’s Youngest Son - Chapter 161: Remnants of the Dark Magic Association (2)
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Deep, dark, and large.
It was the first impression the magicians felt when entering the cave. As it was her first time seeing earth magic, Enya looked around with curiosity.
“They made it pretty big, those pathetic criminals.”
“What if there aren’t only fifty, but five hundred of them? Maybe they wanted to make a fortress.”
Each of the novices made comments of astonishment. Meanwhile, Jin was thinking about something else.
‘This isn’t something fifty 3–4-stars can create.’
Because of its usefulness, earth magic was often used in all kinds of construction, and cave creation was the most representative usage. Whether it was a cave to escape the rain during a trip or a research cave created by lots of time and effort, it was a very common phenomenon.
However, a cave of this size was on a different level. Compared to a small cave, these larger projects needed to have meticulous support in the ceiling so that the cave wouldn’t collapse.
‘The entrance is larger than the central hall of the castle in Hosen. Though it’s an easy job for about a dozen low-level magicians to do…’
Jin squinted and examined the ceiling and walls.
‘The supports are excessively perfect. It has to be a work of one person. The entrance was well-paved concrete. If it isn’t someone who mastered the art of earth magic, it would be impossible.’
Jin stared at Auten Melson’s back. He wanted to see how the lead magician would react.
‘I don’t know about the novices and the co-leader, but if Auten Melson was really a 7-star, he would be terrified.’
If he were to order further advancement into the cave, Auten either had to be a Dark Magic Association spy or was intentionally putting the novices in danger.
Soon after, Auten twirled his wand and cast a short spell—Seismic Sense.
The spell Jin had used to track down Mesa and the Kinzelo soldiers in his first mission. At the time, he multicasted Wind Pursuit to improve its effectiveness, but Auten was not a multicaster.
The Seismic Sense magic crawled across the surfaces of the cave.
“Seeing that Seismic Sense was extending out, it might be a tunnel instead. At least five hundred meters, at that.”
“What should we do, Sir Auten?”
The co-leader questioned him.
“The novices will advance forward with their wands ready for a force field at all times. You will wait here with Groups 4 and 5 and regroup quickly when Arch comes.”
“Don’t fool around for long. This is only in case he might get lost.”
He delegated Groups 1, 2, and 3 along with Arch as diversions, and he forced Groups 4 and 5 with a 6-star magician out of the main group.
The group of thirty suddenly became fifteen novices and Auten.
‘Now I’m certain. He’s either a spy, or he’s sabotaging the plan on purpose.’
It was more likely that he was the former. Splitting up the group was probably to allow the Dark Magic Association to take each group down one by one.
‘And a strict vegan ate some meat…?’
He also had to consider that the leader was not the real Auten Melson.
Jin then recalled Bouvard Gaston. He had information about Bouvard and was attacked by the Zipfels’ most savageous headhunters transformed as guardian knights.
So, he also considered the transformation crimes.
‘I’ll just keep watching.’
He suspected that he was a spy. However, he didn’t really want to intervene. None of the academy novices and their companions or the innocent citizens look as important to Jin. Given that the Vermont Imperial Family was also closer to the Zipfels than the Runcandels, any novice was a potential threat to Jin.
And above all, even if Auten revealed himself and a fight broke out, Jin just needed to win and escape with Enya.
‘Since fifty Dark Magic peons and Auten is enough for me.’
They walked for a while.
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The cave was only filled with the winds that traveled throughout. From inside the cave, nothing special happened.
One of the novices in the front let out a sound and stopped walking. Their body collapsed like a sand castle, and a puddle of blood emerged. Even when they saw the orc that shot the arrow that pierced the novice’s chest, the other novices couldn’t detect the severity of the situation.
‘And so it begins.’
Just noticing the orcs, one novice frantically screamed. Some rushed over to other novices and began to heal while others cast a force field. The others lifted their wands and examined the surroundings.
As for Auten, he gathered mana at the tip of his wand and pierced the novice who first screamed…
…and induced an overflow reaction.
Whoever Auten was, he was definitely a magician with 7-star mana.
“Why are you doing this?!”
The novices near him stepped back. They couldn’t believe their eyes as they saw Auten’s expressionless face.
“Th-There are orcs… dozens of them.”
From the darkness behind Auten, orcs emerged. Behind the army, a group of humans in dark robes made themselves known.
The remnants of the Dark Magic Association.
There were about fifty of them, just as the Seven-Colored Peacock had reported.
“Well done for making it all the way here.”
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Auten announced to the injured novices, their eyes filled with fear and confusion.
“S-Sir Auten! What is this…?! Were you a spy for the Dark Magic Association?!”
“Unfortunately so. Frontline herding? HAHAHA! How are you not embarrassed?”
“You will now become the Dark Magic Association’s test subjects.”
The novices only thought of the horrible death that lay ahead. Their opponents were fifty dark magicians, twenty orcs, and a 7-star magician. There were only fifteen novices remaining in the cave. With two going down from an arrow and mana overflow, fifteen easily became thirteen.
The novices dropped their belongings and began to flee. The only ones not fleeing were Jin and Enya.
The orcs didn’t shoot arrows at the ones running away, knowing that it was futile.
“Yeah, yeah. He loves hunting game that runs. Run as much as you want since you can’t even be used as test subjects.”
The path that they came from was empty, without any obstruction. However, outside the cave, there would soon be monsters that would enjoy their ‘playtime’ with two 6-star magicians and a herd of novices.
‘I didn’t expect it to progress like this. Hm, Auten, that bastard. It seems that he’s definitely someone that Bouvard transformed.’
Jin sighed. He could feel Enya shuddering behind him.
However, she wasn’t only quivering in fear, but also releasing her mana to fight whenever the time came. A big difference from the other novices who wandered hopelessly.
Maura, Oren, and Chip only looked at Jin. They knew that he was in the Special Forces of Magic, so they believed there was a way out.
Yet in reality, even a Special Forces of Magic agent couldn’t face all of them. It was better that Jin was not what he told them.
“Brother, what do we do…? The novices are all going to die.”
“Don’t worry, everything’s fine. Why are you worried about the ones who bullied you?”
“Because they all weren’t like that. Most of them were, though. One or two of them would be good people, right?”
“From now on, stick right next to me. Don’t even get a stride further.”
No one could hear their conversation. Jin fixed Enya’s hood and smiled. Jin kept his face hidden with his hood.
There were more enemies than expected, but it was still fine.
‘The magician who made this cave… As long as I play with precaution, this will be an easy job. I don’t think it’s Auten, so it must be one of them.’
The culprit had to be one of the fifty Dark Magic Association magicians. Since they all wore identical robes, confirming it was near impossible.
However, he would find out soon. Jin already knew one spell that would deal with all of them.
“Do you think you will survive this way…! Auten!”
“A pretentious statement. Now it’s my turn. If you surrender, then I will offer some mercy. However, resistors will face the most horrifying punishment known to man.”
The novices exchanged glances with each other, then looked at the enemy. Some escapees were not visible at all as the remaining novices turned to follow the followers who already escaped.
“Just as he said, it won’t be a good idea to escape, novices. I can’t guarantee the lives of the ones who already fled. We came in too deep, and it also seems something is waiting outside.”
Jin stepped forward.
All eyes were on him.
“Oho, a follower who didn’t flee. Have you gone crazy? How dare a mere follower call me…”
Jin swung his wand to the ground.
The spell he prepared drew a magic circle on the ground, and mana flowed out of the rune characters drawn on Jin’s back.
Pale white mana filled the cave ceiling before morphing into a sphere. The novices looked at it for only a moment, and they immediately had foam in their mouths.
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The same could have been said for the dark magicians. However, compared to the novices, the dark magicians had blood leaking out of every hole of their body as their bodies convulsed.
It was because Jin concentrated the spell toward them.
And Auten—who temporarily lost focus due to the unexpected ‘grand spell’—could only speak with a quivering voice.
‘Th-This must be… This must be Kidard Hall’s—?!”’
The ultimate spell of overload magic.
To Jin, the moment he learned that spell marked the day when any fight between magicians was no longer about numbers.
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