Chapter 47:

Chapter 43: Elegy of Friends

The Immortal Witch's Death Wish

The door to the giant castle swung open. And a tall looming figure greeted them. “Welcome b-… hm? This is a bit strange.. I was not expecting any more visitors.” A looming tall figure greeted them. His clothes seemed to stand out in stark contrast to his size. The nobility exuded from the fabric and his gold cuffs boldly declared themselves. Bookmark here

Just one look at the man, and they could tell he was of important status. His eyes glared down to meet the four of them. “You stand before the visage of Lord Ozun of Rouen Village.”Bookmark here

“Ah. H-hello there sir!” Inora interrupted from behind the odd cluster of four. She curtsied. “I’m Inora of team DreamsBane. A member of ours strolled through here not too long ago for a mission. Horas. We wanted to know if you had any information you could give us. So… if you could please let and… talk…” Her words trailed off. The man just stared back at them with hollow eyes, unperturbed by the information being said or not computing the words. Bookmark here

“There’s no one by that name who came here. I’m sorry, but I’m terribly busy. You may all just run along now.”Bookmark here

“Ahhh--” she sighed. “What a shame~~. She slouched over and looked at Roy and Ire.” She sniffed “I guess I’ll have to open an investigation with the guild. To think that we lost a member due to a false mission. They’d surely send in all of our special units.” She peered back to see if the man had taken the bait. Bookmark here

There was a moment of silence and a blank expression on the man’s face. But this only meant that the bait had been grabbed. “I wonder what they would do if they found out whoever made the fake mission. Especially one that resulted in the loss of a diamond rank adventurer.”Bookmark here

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“AHHHH!” A tankard slammed into the ground. Inora wiped off her lips elegantly after such a tactless display. A grin spread across her face while she chewed into a piece of chimera steak. It was actually impressive that this town had a chef that could make something like this. Chimera steak was among the hardest to cook. Not to mention to fuse either. The mixture was of beef and suttle-fish, which was all the more impressive since the cooking times for each component was much different. Yet as she bit onto it, it tasted as good as in the capitals of No Man’s Land. She quickly gorged down another bottle of wine and devoured the rest of her food.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry to have offered you only this much. You see, I was not expecting guests.”Bookmark here

Only this much??? How luxurious is he?! Bookmark here

Inora swallowed her food and spoke in between bites. “Mmn- it’s ofhkey”Bookmark here

“Now Inora, the food is not going anywhere you know.”Bookmark here

Roy spoke, trying to usher the rest of his team to slow down. However, Inora was not the only one who needed to calm down. The other two had already finished everything. In fact, the only one to not touch a single bit of his food was Roy.Bookmark here

He seemed more so lost in the intricacies of the room and the paintings that dotted the walls with inscription magic.Bookmark here

He waited until everyone was finished before he pushed his plate forward to the middle of the table. Lord Ozun sat at the far end of the long table while the team sat opposite of each other. They had strategically sat themselves in this position to be able to conduct a pincer maneuver should it become necessary. This, and that they could both see behind each other’s backs. Bookmark here

“Now then… Lord Ozun. Just what in the world is going on in this village..?- no. In this whole area and land?”Bookmark here

There was a tense moment of silence once Roy posed this question. It appeared as if the man was going to deny anything out of the ordinary was happening. But Inora pushed “Mhm. There sure are a lot of things going wrong here. First the mission that was sent out by this village… I checked all records of any missions put out and there doesn’t seem to be any. Which is odd, considering there was a young girl here earlier. I’d imagine she was also on a mission, no?”Bookmark here

Ire added. “That, and these forests are frickin buggin me out. It’s so silent it's deafening.” An odd statement, but nonetheless factual. “This also isn’t a typical town. Whatever’s going on with its people, I’ve never seen a small village like this become so empty.”Bookmark here

“So you see Lord Ozun, we’re not feeling quite inclined to stay here too long. Nor get involved in this strange anomaly.”Bookmark here

“- So please, tell us anything. Anything you can about Horas. About our brother.”Bookmark here

Ozun sighed. “I see… of course something like this would be inevitable. Your teammate Horas… is most-likely… no longer with us.”Bookmark here

“. . . Then where would he be?”Bookmark here

“What exactly are you and your family of calligraphers doing in this village?”Bookmark here

Ozun stood up with both of his hands pressed against the table. “You should have stayed out of this… all of you. Then there wouldn’t have…”Bookmark here

“T-there w-w-w-wouldn’t h-have”Bookmark here

His speech slowed to a complete robotic staccato. The hand that clasped onto the bottom of the great marble table crushed each end of the fancy stone and with one giant push, lifted the entire slab off of its feet, sending the table crashing forward upon the far end of the wall. Bookmark here

[Greater Strength]Bookmark here

[Great Wrath]Bookmark here

[Omniscient Fury]Bookmark here

[Lesser Speed][Greater Durability]Bookmark here

[All Encompassing Fortitude] [Wit of the Warrior]Bookmark here

The great noble began to utilize multiple buffs on himself. Increasing his strength by utilizing Inscription magicc to give himself instructions. Each of the words burned through his clothes and embedded themselves on his skin.Bookmark here

The four had already launched themselves in each direction of the man in avoidance of his attack. He was, at the moment, surrounded on all sides by extremely proficient adventurers. This couldn’t possibly have worked out well in his favor. Not at all.Bookmark here

Yet. That didn’t seem to be the case. He confidently stood within the middle of the group with his body having morphed rapidly. By utilizing his inscriptions, he managed to force his body to push itself beyond its limit. This generally should not be possible. When an impossible command is given to someone via inscription magic, it should not be possible for said target to follow through with it. Bookmark here

The rest of his noble gear tore under the duress of his muscles, and his veins bulged like tightened ropes. Bookmark here

Ire and Bal took the moment to disable him before he continued to buff up and complicate the altercation.Bookmark here

The time it took for Ire to reach the man who was only 20 meters away from him took less than half a second. His lithe figure barely made a sound with each foot step. With Bal capturing his attention from the front with a spell charged up, there should not have been a way for the man to have heard him. Bookmark here

“[Illusion Magic] Tri-fold Perception]” With that, an instant radius was created around the room. It was a potent technique that overtakes a target and encompasses the target with various different techniques. In this case, everyone in the room was a target. However, with how versatile the techniquer is, only Ozun was under its effects.Bookmark here

He was now seeing a total of 12 opponents. Various facsimiles of their forms all moved towards him. From behind, the three total Ire’s lurched forward and attacked simultaneously. Mana engulfed their palms in a fury of flames. This was clearly an attack designed to burn the skin’s surface and remove some of the inscription's effects. Bookmark here

In normal circumstances, Ozun should not be able to tell which one of the ersatz were the real copy, yet in just a split second, he had ignored all the false attacks and an open palm had met with the real one’s head, grasping onto his cranium with just one hand. The full on assault was stopped just like that. Bookmark here

All momentum was entirely useless upon connection with Ozun. He picked up the man with one hand and immediately launched him towards the wall directly opposite of him. With that one move, now everyone was in his line of vision. Inora and Roy on his left and right, and Ire now in front of him with Bal. Bookmark here

As Ire came crashing down upon his range of sight, Bal casted another technique with brevity. “[Manipulation Magic; Wall of Wind]” He began to slow several feet before colliding with the wall. As he got closer and closer to the wall, his momentum was slowly coming to a halt before he had finally come to a standstill just inches from the wall. Bookmark here

“Thanks Bal.”Bookmark here

“Don’t mention it. Eyes on the Target.”Bookmark here

Ire landed on the floor of the in a squat as his various facsimiles also joined in. “Are you sure we should keep these around? He could see through the illusions so far.”Bookmark here

“Maybe… maybe not. It could easily have been a fluke.”Bookmark here

Ire nodded and charged up his aura before running to meet the man. Now he should be a lot more careful and on guard. “Inora, appraisal please!”Bookmark here

“Already on it. But….”Bookmark here

“Something’s not right here.” Her appraisal ability allowed her to get details on different abilities just upon setting sight on the actual spells used. However, just now there was something that she couldn’t understand. “H-hey… is it possible to.. N-no… I’m not sure what it is I’m looking at.”Bookmark here

Roy raised an eyebrow at the statement. “What do you mean by that?”Bookmark here

At this point Ire had already reached contact now with the enemy. A swift punch left and connected with the musclebound behemoth. Of course, there was no reaction or even damage as the fist bore into his chest. Instead, he attempted to grab the adventurer once more. Bookmark here

Fortunately, he was not so stupid as to be cought a second time. Before his hands could connect, he lurched to the floor and swiped the man’s feet. “Bal! Encampment. Now!”Bookmark here

Almost as if he was already planning to, a barrier erected around the duo. [Barrier magic; Invisible Shelter] A giant cubic structure began to form as the man fell off of his feet. [Elemental Magic; Retroactive Flames]. With that he kicked back off of the man and pushed himself out of the barriers trajectory before it enclosed itself around them.Bookmark here

“Nicely done!!”Bookmark here

“Keep your guard up, Ire. There’s something much weirder going at play here.” Inora warned. She shared a glance with Roy to signal something to him. Roy nodded in confirmation.”Bookmark here

“Retreat for now, Ire. There’s no guarantee that this next attack will work.” Ire nodded and swiftly skidded back several feet. The giant behemoth was beginning to get up from his fall. Small fumes of smoke and smoldering flame escaped from his chest right at the point of impact from Ire’s earlier punch.Bookmark here

With the cubic barrier in his way he simply scowled. He had quickly noticed that there was a lack of oxygen within the barrier. So they had realized they could not beat him with physical ability so they resorted to asphyxiation. Unfortunately, this barrier couldn’t possibly hold.Bookmark here

Yet again his physique stretched itself beyond the physical limits. His fist blared outwards and struck the wall of the barrier. Without any resistance, it shattered to pieces. The rest of the walls surrounding him had also deteriorated and he was now in the open. Bookmark here

BOOOOOM!Bookmark here

Just like clockwork, the ability had worked. A huge explosion had engulfed the entire area where Ozun had been standing. Thick clouds of smoke had filled the room, completely obscuring vision. The trio then got into formation as well. Thanks to Inora’s warning earlier, there is a chance that the target may not have met his end with that attack just now.Bookmark here

This was the second formation’s coordinated attack; Backdraft. With Ire’s earlier smoldering flame attack being encamped within a space devoid of oxygen, it sets up the move as a surprise. Once the barrier is destroyed, the influx of oxygen then feeds the flames, causing a huge outburst of food for the flames to engulf. Bookmark here

Each of them quickly utilized Mana Pulse in one rapid burst before changing their positions. They were moving within the smoke and keeping their aura suppressed to avoid detection. The information it fed back to them… was that the man was dead.Bookmark here

“Is it already over? Did we win?” Ire asked.Bookmark here

“Hold on everyone. Not until we hear from Inora.”Bookmark here

There was a tense silence as they awaited Inora’s approval. The smoke began to clear up rapidly thanks to Bal’s wind. Ozun could be seen, his silhouette slumped to the ground. Bookmark here

“Guess it’s over.”Bookmark here

“What in the world was with that guy…” Bal scratched his head.Bookmark here

“Guys, we’re not done yet until Inora’s signal.” Roy quickly tried to usher the two of them to pay attention.Bookmark here

Bal put out his hand and set up various techniques to conjure attacks with. [Elemental Magic; Blades of Wind]. Various sharpened knives of wind formed above Bal before swiftly finding themselves embedded in the giant’s flesh. Over 80 blades skewered the man, whistling as they traversed through the air.Bookmark here

“So. I guess we can confirm that it’s over with. That’s that.”Bookmark here

Ire nodded and stretched his neck. The throw earlier had definitely left a nasty ache on his spine. “In any event… I suppose we’d better report this one back to the ad-”Bookmark here

“Bal, Move!”Bookmark here

The next series of events were fast… much too fast. Ire attempted to act quick enough, but could only see the giant blur engulfed in smoke. So fast were his movements, that the wind had hit him right after, and the explosive noise had caused a force of its own. Their clothes hung desperately onto their bodies. “[Punch of 1,000 Giants]”Bookmark here

Within just that split moment, a hole could be seen in the wall where the table had crashed. They traced their lines of sight to what was within the wall. The village lay overhead as a second landing impact was heard ringing. “H-hey...what”Bookmark here

Inora sped into action running to the wall. “BAL!!!”Bookmark here

Ire just stood mesmerized by what he had seen. Roy quickly grabbed Inora before she too launched herself out of the window to join them. “No. Retreat for now.”Bookmark here

She shrugged off Roy’s hand and blared her aura, attempting to launch off the building. Roy grabbed her and launched her into the wall across the other side of the room. “INORA!!! THIS IS NOT THE TIME!!”Bookmark here

Ire slowly made his way to the scene. He could see Bal’s small figure onto the floor with the giant Ozun smashing his fist into his head. The fall was almost a 400 feet drop to the town below. Ozun’s punch had probably killed him upon impact. So great was such a hit, that it had even exploded Ozun’s own hand. His left hand bled profusely as he continued to pummel the already deceased Bal with his left hand. Bookmark here

“ could this happen. He was dead… H-... I’ll FUCKING KILL HIMM!!”Bookmark here

Roy had little time to operate. At this rate, he may lose all of his team before the night was over. He engulfed his hand with aura and launched a surprise punch to the man’s temple, knocking him out cold as fast as possible. He picked up the slumped friend over his back and held Inoru by her hair. Bookmark here

“Retreat for now. We’ll take down that man soon. There’s nothing we can do so long as we understand nothing about him.” Roy took off, exiting from one of the windows on the opposite end of the room, and fleeing the scene. Shamefully as it may be, he did not want to lose any more comrades to this unknown entity.Bookmark here

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