TL note: of course I got something wrong again. Yay. Ashen clown addresses “Dick” as “Dee”, as we see in this chapter. I didn’t get it at first, so I fixed it here and in the previous entry (chapter 50).
Goddess of wrath, Silent requiem and Sweet disaster
Green Cancer’s headquarter was located in the 8th Street. They were a guild of puppeteers who used golems.
They could implant spirits and wandering ghosts into unanimated objects and manipulate them, but Yuma could meddle with them thanks to her power, making them pretty much useless.
Green Cancer had huge grounds where they crafted their golems, but none of their creations moved an inch when the two Miracle children walked past them.
Aileen and Yuma reached the Guild Master so easily it looked like they were taking a stroll, and none of the other members in that guild stood a chance against Aileen, since their second best member was an A rank adventurer.
Once they reached the last floor of the building, the Guild Master, knowing that a few intruders were coming after her, tried to ambush them, but failed miserably and got counterattacked by Aileen, who left Yuma behind for a moment and punched their enemy so hard she fainted in one hit.
“We’ll talk when you wake up, okay? Now, the collar…”
Green Cancer’s Guild Master was a shaman woman wearing a national dress that revealed a lot of her skin. Aileen thought that it would’ve been bad if Dick saw her, so she freed her from her collar and then covered her with an overcoat she had found nearby.
“Aileen, are you okay? Oh… you look perfectly fine. Wow, there are so many dolls…”
Yuma entered the room a few moments later and looked amazed in front of the countless dolls lined up on the shelves and on the ground. Aileen guessed that they should’ve moved and could be manipulated, but all of them were motionless and just stood there tidily.
“You’re like the natural enemy of this guild, aren’t you, Yuma? Thinking about it, I don’t remember golems attacking us on our expedition…”
“The Demon Lord’s army is mainly composed by demons, people and beasts’ ghosts, not spirits. I knew they could be used to make golems, so when we were surrounded by enemies or when we were fighting a bunch of them, I made sure to purify whatever was near us.”
“Wow, it’s amazing that you don’t even break a sweat doing that. Whenever we were together, it was like I could see that purifying power of yours getting stronger, and… it was relaxing to stand so close to you. It still is.”
“I let the expedition party see my power, but it is just natural for me…”
Yuma was surely the strongest member of the expedition party in terms of latent magic power, but she used it all only to make souls ascend to heaven, so it didn’t add to her adventurer score.
Aileen believed that being acknowledged as a SSS rank adventurer only thanks to her purification abilities was crazy. Yuma focused all her power only on that, putting aside any other magical or physical ability. Being a versatile support for the party had never even crossed her mind, so little she cared.
However, Dick always cheered for her, saying that she was perfect in her own way.
“I’m very glad you’ve been our healer, Yuma. We went through a lot of deadly battles and you were always there after the worst, warming our heart and helping us feel better.”
“I am very glad you think that. It means that I have been doing my job right. A priest should ease people’s heart. Then, one day we will take each other’s hand and depart for the Land of Gods…”
“Why don’t you start with Dick? That guy’s super curious, you know?”
“I-I should refrain to do that… I would love to, but if I take his soul too far from his body, it would be impossible to bring it back to earth… it would be like… forcing him to ascend… forever…”
Aileen worried a bit seeing Yuma fidgeting so much behind her mask. Like, did she really consider giving it a try in the past?
The Charming goddess of wrath didn’t care about the normal relationship between sexes when she was younger. The only important thing in her life was learning her father’s techniques and honing her skills as much as she could, but since she moved to the capital, she heard of a lot of ‘noteworthy’ stories between boys and girls.
Yuma doesn’t get it since she’s always a natural airhead when it comes to that topic… but Dick sure has got nerves of steel. The girls in the red-light district say that guys hide their horniness when they’d actually bang whatever crosses their way…
“Aileen, you look strange. Is there something troubling you?”
“W-What?! N-Nope, not at all?! I-I was just thinkin’ that Dick sure has nerves of steel, or like… you know, just some random thinking…”
“I can see your soul pulsing with pinkish waves… is your demonic side mixing up with your human one? Oh… no, it looks like some desire is welling up in your soul…”
“N-No, stop it! Don’t peek at my soul, I don’t wanna ascend yet!”
Aileen rushed over and lightly pressed her hand on Yuma’s mouth to make her stop talking, but the young priest kept talking anyway with a smile on her face, not minding her own muffled voice.
“Do not worry, Aileen, your feelings reached my heart. It is not time to ascend for us yet.”
“Aaah… hahaha… yeah… what’s with us, indeed. Whenever we act on our own like now, Dick is always the one at the center of it all! How much do we depend on him?”
“I do not, honestly.”
“I-Is that so? Yuma, did you grow independent from him?”
Aileen mouthed a strange question while Yuma took Green Cancer’s Guild Master’s collar from her hand. She then squeezed and cleansed it with her power, dissipating the remaining magic left into it. The runes carved on it slowly disappeared.
“I could not meet him for months, but I felt that he was doing well in the capital. However, that did not prove a real hardship, so I have the proof that I can stand on my own.”
“I see… what if he left the capital, then?”
“That… would be fine too. We are the masked saviors, so he would probably meet us every now and then…”
“What?! It would be a hassle not to have him around, you know?! He’s very handy and helpful, he’s good at cooking and he’s very trustworthy…”
“It is exactly because he is that kind of person that he would promise us to meet again every now and then. I am glad I can drop by his bar now and my parents do not mind it anymore.”
Aileen felt that Yuma wanted to keep Dick close to herself as well.
Maybe she wasn’t aware of it, but the Forgotten Fifth had a special place in her heart too.
In the end, nothing had changed since the expedition party formed, and Aileen’s heart warmed when she realized it.
“He always preferred Mylarka over us, but we’re young ladies too, so why waste this precious time for nothing…?”
“What do you mean with that…? And who are you referring to, Aileen?”
“Oh, nothing, forget it…”
She shrugged the matter off with that and heard the magic tool that Dick had lent them vibrating. He was calling out to them.
“No way… Dick is calling for help…? We had guessed right, then. He is facing someone as strong as us…”
“Yeah, let’s hurry over there. Do we have anything else to do here?”
“We should leave Dick’s guild handle Green Cancer from now. We need to haste and reach the 1st Street.”
“Yuma, can I give you a piggyback? Or should I take you like a princess?”
“P-Please… take me on your shoulders.”
Aileen adjusted Yuma on her shoulders, then opened the window and jumped out of it. She kicked the window’s frame so hard that she could’ve aimed for the roof of the nearby building, but she chose to jump far and dash instead.
“Dick, let me handle something as well…!”
“Y-You are amazing, Aileen…”
Yuma noticed that she didn’t have to hold Aileen so tight—her back felt even more stable than the average mount.
The Martial Artist dashed through the night, leaving a trail of wind behind her.
White Capricorn had extended their control over eight guilds but was on a different level compared to them.
Their headquarter was located in the 1st Street, and their grounds could be easily compared to a magic university.
The spell Hiding could affect multiple targets, so we just entered the site without passing through the main gate and kept walking even when someone looked in our direction. Mylarka was right after me and deeply trusted my spells, so she didn’t look bothered at all.
There were a lot of bushes and trees scattered around the place, so we could just walk around them to reach the main building.
“Hiding makes our voice inaudible to people, right…? Modifying skills is always been a great thing of you.”
“I hardly hear you praise anyone, Mylarka.”
“I praise what deserves to be praised. There’s no point in keeping it to myself.”
Their students loved her also because she was very direct. I believe that it’s a good thing to study with a teacher that praises their students when they’re doing good.
“Can I count on your magic if we have to deal with the entire guild? It would be obvious who attacked at that point, but we can’t really help it.”
“I’d feel guilty to destroy this much of the capital even if no one found us. I want to hold my head high more than anyone else as long as I’m alive.”
“We do share the same feeling about it… wait.”
Our enemies found us. It was hard to believe but not impossible.
Hiding prevented any A or below rank adventurer to notice us, making us visible only after we attacked them.
Still, a S rank might have some tricks up their sleeve to perceive us, and so would a SS rank. We wouldn’t have been able to sneak in these grounds from the start if our foe taught all their underlings how to detect us, but luckily that hadn’t been the case.
“Did you really think we wouldn’t know you were walking around the woods?! Idiots!”
Four adventurers, two men and two women – the former as the vanguard – approached us. They were patrolling the area and all of them were at least S rank.
Luckily, their strength wasn’t boosted with Support Magic as much as Claive’s and I was glad about that. We had a lot less headaches than expected now.
However, the range of boost we granted people was very different: I could add around 3000 additional points to an adventurer’s score, bringing them to S rank, but our real opponent could do much more than that.
It must be her… I don’t want to believe that there’s someone else that strong…
However, I couldn’t just discard that possibility.
A part of me hoped we had to face an unknown danger so long we hadn’t to face Ashen clown. Accepting that reality would’ve been easier than fighting her.
“Did you think you could do whatever you wanted in our grounds?! You won’t get away with this!”
One of the men charged at us. He had a very muscular body, and given the huge war hammer he was holding, I guessed he was a ‘breaker’.
He’s using a magic weapon…? Dismantling it will take me some time, so…!
The man swung his weapon without a precise pattern, so I guessed he was starting his assault with ‘bone breaker’, an attack that simply aimed to the bones of the foe to shatter them in one hit. That was the basic of the breakers’ fighting style, but I always found it extremely nasty.
Putting my personal tastes aside, I couldn’t just take that kind of attack head-on, so I decided to avoid it.
The bad side of heavy weapons was that swinging them around meant leaving a lot of openings to the foe, so exposing oneself too much without thinking that they had to recover from the swing could possibly settle their loss in one move.
I put some distance between us and grabbed my spirit sword.
“Nice bait, man… oof!”
“You shouldn’t show me your everything from the start. Don’t rely so much on her power.”
Support Magic can defy the law of nature only in one way: Spirit Reflect—it allows the caster to duplicate or overlap additional layers of effects on the target.
I had smashed the Support Magic that boosted the man by throwing a coin infused with magic power at him, then caught it again when it bounced back to me.
Teacher, are you really behind all of this…? You’ve never been obsessed with me, so why are you doing this…?
“What’s wrong with relying on her power?! I won’t allow you to mess with her!”
My teacher could simply grasp the heart of people and control it. She did the same with me the first time we met.
However, her whimsical nature brought her to reject sticking to good or evil deeds only, so she always did whatever she wanted.
“Dee, I respect your kindness, but I also want to crush it. I love it to death, but I also hate it so much I want to destroy it.”
Her words rang again in my mind.
Maybe I should’ve met her at least once since I got back from the expedition.
Would I have lost myself like the guys I was looking at in that moment if I did so?
“Dick, you’re losing it. Get yourself together while I handle them.”
Wide area annihilation n°10 – Smashing topography.
Our foes were about to attack us – the man who had already attacked me was about to swing his war hammer again, the other one had sneaked away and was trying to attack us from behind with a short sword, one of the women had her spell ready to fire and the last one was a healer who was ready to cast some healing on her comrades – but they suddenly panicked when the magic field below Mylarka’s feet covered the entire area around us all in a moment and the ground started to quake, rise and crumble into pits at a frightening speed.
They all screamed in dread.
The man who was trying to attack me froze in place when the ground in front of him cleaved and crumbled into a dark, seemingly endless cliff.
I chose to use the coin to defeat them, although any long-ranged weapon would’ve worked. I cast ‘Spirit homing’ and flicked the coin to the closest enemy’s forehead who fainted as soon as he got sent flying by the impact.
His three other comrades understood that my attack had some magic involved, so they managed to avoid my first attack, but none of them avoided the second.
“We won’t need to sneak in if we can make such a mess. Dick, I’ll just wipe out anyone standing in our way. Escort me.”
In that moment, as I saw Mylarka puffing out her chest, I understood that what I wanted to follow right now wasn’t my teacher.
I silently thanked Mylarka in my mind, as she embodied the very concept of reliance.
“Sorry for giving you headaches, young lady. I won’t hesitate anymore… let’s go!”
Then, as if we were controlled by the same will, we climbed a near tree and jumped from its top toward the headquarter in unison.
I wasn’t afraid to face my teacher, I was only unsure about what to tell her after so much time.
She had ‘only’ taken control over White Capricorn, but I wanted her to stop doing this… and I didn’t want to kill her to achieve it.
I knew she was furious, and I was probably too weak to stop her, but I had to calm her down and do whatever I could about this matter.
I was ready to bend to her strength, but I would’ve never broke under her will.