Chapter 21 of Almadianos is here! Already working on the next chapter, you should have it soon.
For the Patrons, chapter 22, 23, and 24 are now available right here.
Anyway, here is the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
【”She didn’t die? Princess Lunaria is still alive?!”】
Having received a report from the royal capital, Ross, the baron of Isengard, started yelling angrily as his complexion turned deathly pale.
【”Can’t this worthless scum die already?! And just when I was finally going to settle my account with Bessendorf!”】
For many years, the Bessendorf and Isengard households had been competing to gain ownership over some land.
The plot of land wasn’t particularly big, but it was the location of the Kajik lake, which was a source of water, so both parties were absolutely not willing to give it up.
The head of the faction that Bessendorf belonged to was the marquis of Strasbourg, Albert, and more than half a year prior to this, he had expressed his intention to give that plot of land to the Isengard household in exchange for something.
Due to their hostility towards Bessendorf, the Isengard family had sided with princess Lunaria at first, but Ross did not care whose faction he belonged to as long as he could get the Kajik lake.
So, Ross’ decision to switch sides and join the marquis of Strasbourg was a quick one.
And, by now, princess Lunaria’s life was supposed to have been taken by a certain monster that only lived in the Isengard territory.
【”―― There is no way that I’m being suspected, right?”】
If by any chance the whole matter ended up being exposed, that would be the end of the Isengard household.
There was no doubt that Ross would be hanged, his territory would be seized, and even his family and followers would be made to suffer, by being banished or exiled.
【”No, among the stories regarding the celebration of the princess’ recovery, there was not a single rumor about any criminal that may have been involved…”】
Said the knight Casper, while kneeling on one knee. He descended from a long line of retainers.
【”T-that is right! There is no way they can find out, absolutely no way…!”】
Ross let out a sigh of relief and wiped away the sweat on his forehead.
He had been willing to use a monster that took a long time before killing its victim because he absolutely did not want to be found out.
The monster had been brought from the woods towards the north of the Isengard territory, where there was a swampy area of about 2 km² which was the dwelling of many monsters that were still unknown to the world.
【”But regardless, you told me that there was no cure, Oliveira!”】
Ross snorted and glared at a mage who was standing in the back of the room.
【”I am extremely sorry. I never thought anyone would be able to find a cure for an unknown monster like that one.”】
Although he bowed deeply, there was no change in Oliveira’s facial expression, and he did not seem to feel concerned or intimidated.
But he was honestly very surprised that a mage who could cure Lunaria had appeared.
Because he himself had yet to find a cure against the monster.
【”I guess we’ll be using a monster that kills instantly next. I’ve gotten a sample of a pretty good one actually.”】
Said Oliveira with a stifled laugh, seemingly amused by the situation.
Soon after Ross became the head of the Isengard household, he came across Oliveira, who was visiting the territroy for his research on monsters. Since then, Ross had changed.
Although he was self-righteous and haughty by nature, he used to be open-minded enough to listen to his retainers, but now, he was not willing to listen at all and he had an awfully quick temper.
Casper was convinced that this was because of Oliveira.
【”That is too dangerous! We still don’t know anything about the anonymous mage who cured the princess. He might see through this new monster too!”】
Besides, trying to come in direct contact with the princess now would be nothing more than suicide.
Hence why Casper was asking Ross not to act rashly. (If possible, I wish he would seal these unrealistic ambitions for good, too) Thought Casper.
【”……Even so, I have to kill her!”】
Unfortunately, the sincerity of this loyal subject did not reach Ross.
There was only one condition under which the marquis of Strasbourg would give preferential treatment to Isengard over Bessendorf, and that would be if the isengard household took care of the princess’ assassination.
Since Isengard did not have the support of Lunaria’s faction anymore, giving up on assassinating the princess now would be akin to conceding defeat in the territorial dispute against Bessendorf.
【”Obtaining the Kajik lake was the dearest wish of my predecessor, I have to do it. You want me to kiss Bessendorf’s ass now?!”】
Ross shouted, while caught in a feeling which could be called an obsession.
Isengard’s mad train of thought made Casper clearly realize the crisis that the Isengard household was in.
【”I implore you to think it over! Right now we should kill this mage and erase all of the evidence! Please think of the survival of the household first!”】
This was the first time Casper had remonstrated with his superior like so, but he did not leave any impression on Ross.
【”Know your place! Why couldn’t you think of a way to kill the princess and maintain the household? This is all on you, it is your fault that I can’t let go of Oliveira!”】
Compared to Casper, Oliveira was of much more use as a tool to fulfill Ross’ desires.
However, he was that much more dangerous, which made him a double-edged sword.
【”As I said, I’ve gotten my hands on a new monster. So I’ll go experiment with it now.”】
The corner of Oliveira’s mouth rose into a broad green.
His eyes showed that he was confident he would not be killed by Ross.
Indeed, Ross’ grand ambitions made him easy to manipulate, and that was precisely why Oliveira was fine with him being his host.
【”This insect of a man is the enemy of the Isengard family!”】
Casper found the resolve to pull out his sword.
Perhaps he should have done so from the very beginning.
He was responsible for letting the situation worsen to this point by trying to be considerate of his master’s feelings.
No longer having any regard for his own life, Casper decided to execute Oliveira.
【”―― Don’t! Don’t you dare do it, Casper! I will not forgive you if you kill Oliveira!”】
【”I will give up my life to redeem myself! I am sorry!”】
As a knight who served a baron’s family, Casper’s capabilities were absolutely not to be looked down upon. Rather, it could be said that his strength was extraordinary for a knight who served the household of a baron from the countryside.
【”I wouldn’t do that if I were you, I mean, what kind of retainer goes against his master’s orders?”】
【”You are in no position to talk!”】
A long range combat was the most suitable setting for a mage to display his forte.
Therefore, Casper figured that if he could get close to Oliveira, he would be able to defeat him, even if he himself would sustain heavy injuries.
While giving a sidelong glance at his master who was moving left and right in confusion, Casper slashed his sword at Oliveira.
And, mysteriously, Oliveira did not intercept him.
Casper was able to come in front of Oliveira without being wounded in the slightest.
――(I can kill him.)
Even if Oliveira used a close-ranged spell now, Casper would still absolutely be able to kill him since he already had the resolve to take a blow so that his own attack would land.
Besides, at this distance, his attack would land faster than the time it would take to cast a spell.
Even so, Casper could not use magic in the slightest and did not have any magic artifact, so having a skilled mage as his opponent was too much for him.
The moment he convinced himself that he would succeed, his body stiffened on the spot and he stopped moving.
Oliveira stared with an amused smirk at Casper, who was left astonished.
This was different from the expressionless smiles Oliveira had been showing so far, this time he looked clearly delighted.
【”That’s a monster I’ve been keeping for a long time. It can go inside your shadow to restrain your movements. But the effect doesn’t last very long.”】
As he said so, Oliveira took an insect out of his pocket.
【”Now this, is something else. It’s a new species that I’ve discovered recently. It can slip inside the brain and cause a powerful hypnotic effect. It’s a parasitic monster that can prey on its host while he’s asleep and powerless.”】
Casper was fine with being killed in combat.
But he could never accept dying due to his brain being eaten by a disgusting monster.
He used every bit of strength that he had, but he couldn’t move. His body was numbed from his feet to his hands right until the tip of his fingers.
【”Stay away! Don’t bring that dirty insect in front of me!”】
【”This is my first time using it on a human body. You should feel honored.”】
Casper struggled as he heard the sound of something crawling inside his ear.
The feeling of the insect’s segmented body rubbing against his skin made Casper aware that his brain was going to be destroyed, little by little.
Looking at that expression of agony, Oliveira felt extreme joy.
But at that moment, Casper’s finger reacted.
Having realized that the spell which was binding him through his shadow was starting to go away, he put as much tension on his body as he possibly could.
(Just a little bit more!)
(Faster! Faster! Before the monster reaches my brain!)
Then, he heard a loud, disgusting sound that painfully shook his eardrum.
(The insect is destroying my eardrum!)
While feeling goosebumps all over his body, Casper managed to free himself from the spell that was binding him through his shadow.
After he was finally able to move his hand, he thrust it towards his ear, desperately wanting to take out the monster.
His bangs were full of sweat as he frantically searched inside.
【”―― Huh? It’s not here?”】
Even now, he could still feel it rubbing against his skin.
Why was it not there? And for that matter, why was it that his brain was rapidly becoming more hazy to the point where he couldn’t think of anything?
【”Sorry, but, everything you felt after your eardrum was destroyed was all an illusion. It’s too late already.”】
Oliveira’s facial expression changed as his lips gave rise to a relaxed smile.
(So this is this man’s true nature, huh) ――That was Casper’s last thought before his consciousness permanently faded into darkness.
Translator’s note: For those who missed you’ll be seeing Cornelia again in the next chapter, which should come out pretty soon!