Hey everyone, this is the third part of today’s triple release, please do check the previous chapters if you haven’t yet!
(――This comes down to bad timing, I suppose.)
Upon hearing the no-good reports from her subordinates, the wicked fairy Lucia, who was possessing the head of the royal court’s mages Mordred, groaned with a face that made it seem like she had just eaten worms.
The night before, a report came announcing that Rosberg and Kurats had pushed away the Asgard empire’s army, led by Gunther, out of the border.
That information was decisive.
The aristocrats who had still been hesitant even when Kurats had defeated Skuld were now completely certain of Jormungand’s victory.
Under these circumstances, rather than trying to think of ways to betray the empire, their priority was now to build connections with Kurats and find intermediaries to make contact with the furue queen, Lunaria.
While the wicked fairy was having such thoughts, Mordred himself was glaring with mad jealousy and anger at the aristocrats who were rushing to shower Kurats with gifts and provide aid to his women.
(Such lack of principles. Where is your pride as aristocrats?!)
The truth was that nobles were always the type to be susceptible to changes in the power-balance. Moreover, they would throw away their pride and act without any consideration for their reputation for their own pride.
Mordred was only denying this truth that he was well aware of out of resentment towards Kurats.
(If not for that commoner, I would be the one to be hailed as a hero by now.)
Lucia had a good laugh at Mordred’s self-centered delusions.
Then again, it was precisely because he had such desires that Lucia was able to get him with naught but sweet whispers that went his way.
As far she recalled, Lucia could count on a single hand the number of times she had met anyone this easy to manipulate.
Mordred’s talent and social standing were ordinary, and though he did put more effort into his magic than average, he was a genuinely foolish man.
Within the military, his talent and his standing could not even rival with the now deceased Leclerc, let alone with Kurats.
The only part of him that truly surpassed everyone else was the bottomless swamp of narcissism he had going for himself, as well as his jealousy towards those who were more talented.
There was no subordinate in the world who would want to be led by such a man.
This was the main reason the wicked fairies under Lucia’s command were struggling to take control over the royal court’s mages. Mordred was too unpopular.
And now, with the port of Rosberg and Kurats’ victory―― The only people that the wicked fairies would still be able to take control over were the few fools who, like Morded, were still burning in the blaze of foregone ambitions.
(That being said, I still have some wiggle room. After all, his majesty the demon king’s only request was to be entertained.)
The demon king had never told her to obtain victory over the humans or to kill them.
His request had been specific and Lucia knew full well why he had chosen her.
(So dance, humans. Be grateful, that weaklings such as you will get to be of some use.)
In contrast to the bubbling atmosphere of the castle from the news of the kingdom’s victory, king Christopher had a disturbing expression as he sat upon his throne.
This made it impossible for the assembled aristocrats to utter any presumptuous words of congratulations.
Had the kingdom’s army not actually won?
And if that wasn’t it, then did this mean the Asgard empire had already launched an attack elsewhere?
The aristocrats kept speculating while whispering to each other, but that did nothing to change Christopher’s expression.
It was only a little while after, when Mordred and his subordinates finally joined the assembly, that Christopher moved his eyebrows with a deep sigh.
From this alone, the perceptive people among those present were able to speculate that Mordred was the reason behind Christopher’s foul mood.
【”――You are late, Mordred.”】
In response to Christopher’s words, Mordred knelt down and bowed his head on the spot.
【”Shame be upon me, I have no excuse. I was too taken by my research due to the war.”】
【”Is that so? Come to think of it, you did say you were working on that new spell again. “】
【”Indeed, your majesty! The spell this time around is dozens of times more powerful than it was before. With this, the empire’s Chaos magic riders will no longer be a weapon to be feared.”】
Mordered proudly and excitedly made his assertion.
Though this was not the fruit of Mordred’s personal research, he was convinced this new spell would take him to greater heights.
【”You made that exact same claim before. And yet, the spell you take such pride in was no match for the Chaos magic riders.”】
Unfortunately for Modred, the answer he received from Christopher was not the one he had been hoping for.
He was bewildered by the fierceness the king was pointing towards him.
【”There will be no mistake this time! The spell’s output has improved by 30 and…”】
【”Not only was the spell useless, but the casters even abdnonned their alies afterwards and escaped. Care to explain that?”】
(Did Rosberg report that? Damn him. With how seriously injured he was, I assumed he wouldn’t have the energy to run his mouth.)
Mordred cursed Rosberg, who was currently still absent.
In actual truth, Rosberg was still in the state of a living corpse at the moment. His adjutant had chosen on his own to attach this to the overall report.
【”I do not understand, what was the issue, your majesty? I was told sir Rosberg was the one who ordred the troops’ retreat.”】
If worse came to worst, Mordred intended to make the commanding officer under him, Rustam, take full responsibility.
Rustam was a loyal subordinate but there was no end to those who could take his place.
【”I have already received multiple reports about how the mage order escaped on its own, ahead of the infantrymen! And you are supposed to be kingdom’s greatest elites?! What a sick joke!”】
What Christopher deemed to be unforgivable above all else was the fact that the situation had resulted in Rosberg being pushed to the brink of death.
Having had a taste of the reality of losing the kingdom’s sword,
Christopher had realized that Rosberg’s military might not only protected the kingdom in a literal sense, but also in a psychological sense.
It seemed he had been relying on Rosberg more than he realized for moral support in times of need.
That was why, far from wanting to protect them from the blow-back of their actions, he actually could not forgive the mage order that only seemed to exist for show.
【”There must have been some sort of misunderstanding on the battlefield. How could the the mage order have been so useless? These reports must be the drivel of those who are jealous of us!”】
The problem with those words was that Rosberg genuinely believed them.
The ground-breaking method of using monster parts as mediums for spells had brought great progress to tactical magic as the world knew it so far.
And yet, despite all that power, the enemy had taken no damage? That was impossible.
There was no way a spell of this level could have been useless.
【”Take responsibility for your mistakes! Anyway, that’s enough. As of today, you are dismissed from your position as head of the mage order! Your successor will be announced later. Now begone!”】
Mordred was completely shocked. He placed both his hands to the ground like Christopher’s words had made him collapse.
It seemed he had been so overconfident he had never doubted that the king favored him until that very moment.
【”Please wait, your majesty! Please have mercy…!!”】
There had to be a mistake. No, surely this was a scheme orchestrated by that commoner, Kurats, in a fit of jealousy towards Mordred’s talent.
Still bewildered, Modred staggered forward, wanting to cling to Christopher.
That instant was enough for Lucia.
(――Such a man doesn’t have what it takes to be king.)
(After all, no worthy king could cast away a talent such as yourself.)
(Rather than such a man, there is someone who would be a much better fit for the throne, wouldn’t you say? That would be you, Mordred.)
Encouraged by the soundless voice, Mordred showed a twisted smile.
He had lost his normal thoughts to Lucia’s brainwashing for a while now.
(That’s right. Someone of my caliber shouldn’t be used by such a man. A king like him, with no sense of logic, can only bring unhappiness to the people.)
【”――Get out of my way! You incompetent king!”】
The king’s guards were caught by surprise by the sudden change in the man who had just been trying to pathetically cling to the king.
In the first place, mages were amateurs when it came to physical fights. They naturally could not handle a sword like a knight.
On top of that, Mordred did not have any weapons, his skinny physique could not be said to be good by any standards, and the king’s area was protected by multiple folds of magic-reduction barriers.
Mordred harming the king without the use of his magic was a situation that no one could picture by any stretch of the imagination.
No one, save for one man who was staying vigilant regardless.
That man was the minister of war, Cellvis.
【”You insolent man! Step away from his majesty!”】
Mordred’s eyes were no longer even looking at Christopher. By this point, he was already traveling to a world of his own, a world that only he believed existed.
Mordred readied his fist. It was a poor display of a fist, one that did not seem like it could kill even an insect.
(――Focus your power. These magic-reduction barriers are not perfect. You only need to slightly strengthen the tip of your finger.)
Under Lucia’s guidance, Mordred charged magic power in his right index finger.
――It all happened in an instant.
Cellvis sword cut deep through Mordred’s body, from the top of his shoulder all the way to his navel.
His lungs had been pulverized, his intestines had been sliced through by the sword, and a large quantity of blood and entrails scattered from him to the ground.
But this scattering of blood and gore blocked Christopher’s field of view. He could no longer see the sight in front of him.
(It’s okay, you’re not dead yet. It’s a easy from here. All you need to do is to slightly thrust your arm forward.)
While his consciousness was fading, Mordred squeezed every last bit of strength he had in him to thrust his index finger forward.
Just like that, his finger pierced all the way through Christopher’s right eye.
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