Chapter 45 – Assassin
I place my hand on the shoulder of the man approaching me, as I pass by him.
With those words, the wave of people walking around stops.
Only I and the man approaching me are moving normally.
He looks bewildered.
Probably because he doesn’t get what’s going on.
I stop the time of the man’s clothes, rendering him unable to move, and ask…
“…Who are you You were after us, weren’t you”
The man’s eyes open wide.
“You’ve been watching us this whole time while hiding.
Your way of concealing magic energy is too obvious.”
“I-I don’t know what…”
“Then let’s change the question.
You’re from the Sorcerer Association, aren’t you Did you set the chimera on us”
The man tries to play it cool, but… I’m touching him, so I can tell.
“Your magic energy was clearly upset just now.
That reaction… You really are from the Sorcerer Association.”
I guess he ditched things that would draw attention like his robes so he could watch us.
But the flow of his magic energy tells me he is clearly not an amateur.
“Who told you to attack me”
“Who knows I have no idea what you…”
“Sorry, but I really hate wasting time.”
I manipulate his magic energy through the shoulder I’m touching.
“Ah, guu… Eh, gah…!”
Magic energy spews and foams from his entire body.
“D-did you… Mess with… The flow of my magic energy…!”
“Yes, and by the way… Do you know what will happen if your magic energy keeps running wild like this”
The method is the same as when I taught El to control her magic energy.
By using external magic energy manipulation, I’m making the magic energy in his body run wild.
And if his magic circuits break because of this, he’ll be unable to use any magic.
I can only use this on people who have already been rendered powerless, since I have to make them hold still while I touch them for a while… But it’s useful as a threat.
“Fu, fufufu, fu… A-all right, I’ll talk.”
He gives up and starts talking.
“It’s too late for you anyway.
The twelve sages already have their eyes on you.
Apparently you managed to take down first-class mages, but… You have no idea how terrifying the twelve sages are.”
Actually, I stood on top of the twelve sages in my previous life.
“Just say it.”
I was given instructions by one of the twelve sages, none other than…”
The man suddenly stops.
“I… What I can’t… Remember…”
“What do you mean If you don’t answer quickly, your body won’t be able to use magic ever again.”
“N-no! I really can’t remember! Honest! I-I don’t get it… Why did I… attack you I can’t remember… I can’t remember!”
The man starts hyperventilating and scratching his head.
(…I don’t think he’s playing dumb.)
His fear and anxiety is transmitted through the unrest in the magic energy in his body.
It looks like he really did forget who gave those orders.
Or more likely, someone made him forget.
Those words appear in the back of my mind.
That member of the twelve sages really is here in the capital.
“Ah, I know.
I remember! I remember! I remember! I remember! I had to attack you, because… I had to attack you! I… I-I… Decided to! I have those memories in here! Fu, fu, fufufufu!”
“Hey, calm down…”
“Fu… Fu, fufufufu…! You let your guard down because I can’t move.
Do you think you won already”
Says the man mockingly while sticking his tongue out.
There’s a silver piercing on his tongue.
That’s his invocation item.
And above his tongue, an already complete magic circle begins to shine.
“Fufu, fufu, fu… You had to leave my mouth alone so you could interrogate me, right I was being cautious because you used strange magic but… You’re still just a kid, and you don’t have enough experience in actual battles, so the rug has been pulled from under you.”
What looks like tobacco smoke starts coming from deep inside the man’s mouth.
No, that’s not smoke.
“Fu, fufufufu… That’s right.
Carnivorous fly monsters I selectively bred and keep in my stomach.
These flies enter people’s bodies through their orifices, eat their flesh and drink their blood from the inside, and lay eggs! And best of all, they’re so many, and they’re so small, that you can’t hope to deal with them all!”
An army of flies buzzes its way out of the man’s mouth, so concentrated, they look like smoke.
(…What tasteless magic.)
Although it’s just like the Sorcerer Association.
“Fufufu, fufu… Fufufufufu! Listen and be amazed! I am Belzeg the Fly Pillar mage, the favorite pupil of the renowned first-class mage Rains Rudbel, also known as ‘Puppet Mage’! My enslavement magic is already level five, so…”
I point the palm of my hand towards them, and flies start dropping to the ground.
“I don’t have time to play with you.”
Flies have very short lifespans.
If I accelerate the time of their bodies, accelerating their aging, they die right away.
The man looks at the ground, dumbfounded.
But he quickly gets a hold of himself and starts formulating another technique in his mouth.
“‘Time, turn back’.”
I turn my palm towards his mouth, and the magic circle he was creating disappears.
The time of the magic circle was rolled back to ‘before it was created’.
One of my anti-mage techniques, that was feared even in the future.
It doesn’t work against powerful opponents, but it works more than well enough on someone like him.
“…Wha! Why! My technique!”
“Sorry to bother you while you’re panicking, but it’s about time to end this.”
I don’t think I’m getting any more information out of him.
Also, I took a little too much time.
I’m only accelerating us, so people around us are slowly moving.
I can see El already got the ice cream from the stand, and she should be heading back here soon.
Before she does, I place my hand on the man’s face.
“Ah, that’s right.
Breaking magic circuits is delicate work, so try to stay still.
If you don’t, you’ll just suffer needlessly like that one before.”
The man shrieks.
For people of the Sorcerer Association, having their magic circuits broken is a fate worse than death, but I’m sure it will serve as an example for them.
“…S-sorry! I-I’ll talk! I’ll tell you anything! Not the magic circuits! N-no! Stop! At least kill…!”