* * *
Blanc and I went down the long staircase. We kept going down and down.
The path before us got narrower and narrowed the more we traversed it, and at some point, it even became claustrophobic. Blanc walked right next to me as though to comfort me.
As we walked on, finally, we could glimpse the end.
“We’re almost there.”
We soon arrived at the dungeon, the surroundings of which were much darker and much dingier.
There was moss and mold inside the prison cells, where only the most heinous of criminals were locked up.
It was so dark that it was barely possible to see the outlines of a person’s face in here, but I was able to make out the shapes of the two people beyond the prison bars. They were both unconscious.
Over there, then.
As I tried to walk closer to the two people who were trapped in that cell, I flinched right away as I felt something cold touch my neck.
“Who are you.”
Hearing the young woman’s voice, I gasped.
…How thorough of them to have left someone here. However, I was confused why this person could see me.
“A mage? You’re holding a wand.”
“Don’t think about turning invisible. Any invisibility spell wouldn’t work here. Magic is repelled in a place like this.”
…So that means I wouldn’t be able to conjure any magic either. What should I do? I turned my thoughts over and over.
It seemed like this person had yet to notice Blanc’s presence.
Blanc had walked so silently, and ordinary people would still just see him as a black cat, so it would be difficult to see him in the dark.
So I asked Blanc to do something for me.
“Blanc, bite her leg!”
Blanc’s teeth were actually quite sharp, so this might be enough to shock this person.
And on cue, Blanc’s energetic response was followed by the woman’s horrified outcry.
After a moment, the woman started rolling on the floor. I raised the sword in my hand and pointed it at the woman’s neck.
“…Seems like I won.”
“So you have an animal with you.”
The woman smiled bitterly, but after she noticed Blanc’s presence, she wondered to herself.
“…A cat’s bite couldn’t possibly hurt this much.”
The woman soon lay down on her back as she muttered.
She didn’t seem to care about the sword I was pointing at her neck. Rather than her, I was more worried about how she might get stabbed by the tip of the sword while she moved like that.
“Um, are you even aware of how I can slash your neck right now?”
“Dunno. Do as you please. The knight order deserves to be ruined anyway.”
What was she talking about? The moment I tilted my head to the side, the woman threw a key at me.
“Open the cell with that.”
“…Weren’t you pointing a sword at me just now? Are you under some kind of spell?”
“I only did that to fulfill my duty as a knight… But you know, now that I think about it, it would be better for me to just help along with the knight order’s ruin.”
I think I can vaguely guess what she’s talking about here. Under Rosteratu’s administration, it was nigh impossible for there to be a proper knight order.
“While I wasn’t allowed to join the battle outside, I was told that it was a great mission in itself to guard this place.”
Pain could be felt palpably in that bitter voice. To me, it seemed like she was tired of it all.
As she lay on her back there on the ground, she didn’t look threatening at all. Actually, I kind of sympathized with her.
Most of the knights I saw earlier were men. It wouldn’t be easy to survive in that kind of environment as a woman.
“Why don’t you hurry and move along? Aren’t you here to break out those two mages?”
Instead of answering, I continued to hover close to the woman. I wouldn’t be able to carry them out alone anyway.
“If I can’t undo the restraints here, I’d have to carry them up the stairs… But I can’t do that alone. So help me. If you’re going to fail your mission anyway, commit to it and fail completely.”
“…Fail completely? Bwahahaha! Yeah, you’re right. I gotta go through with it until the end.”
In response to my words, the woman burst out laughing. She soon rose from the ground.
I couldn’t look at her properly earlier because I was so nervous, but now I noticed how much bigger her physique was, even compared to most men.
“Give me the key.”
I obediently handed the key back to her.
She then opened the prison cell and soon picked up both mages on her shoulders. Even though it must have been heavy to carry two people like that, it looked easy breezy to her.
While admiring her strength, I nodded. The woman started up the stairs first.
There’s quite literally no sign of any physical exertion on her part. She looked so relaxed, as though she was just taking a stroll.
Out of the blue, she murmured.
“Don’t try to threaten me with a sword again, Miss Mage.”
“I’m someone who wields a sword, so I can see it. You’re not used to holding one.”
It seemed like my threats a while ago didn’t work. But I nonetheless agreed.
“Yes, it’s all thanks to your change of heart, Dame. Or else I’d be dead by now.”
Turning her head slightly to face me, she blinked for a moment.
“Not bad, that attitude of yours.”
And she nodded in satisfaction.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 148"
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