Chapter 131.1 : Maneuvering Behind The Scene
… … …
That felt strange. As if it was something she had really missed and yet never seen before. It was an eerie presence.
She flew at breakneck speed across the sky. Releasing her spirit form, Aisia headed towards the place where that strange presence had materialized. And then, it did not take long for her to meet her target. The man whose body was covered in a black robe stood alone on top of a hill.
「…………………… I have been waiting. This is the first time we meet directly in this way right. My name is Reis. It’s a pleasure to meet you.」
The man―― Reis bowed courteously and introduced himself with a cold voice.
「…………… It seems you’re the one who got your subordinates to chase after us. Nevertheless, what’s your business with us? 」
Aisia asked as she looked at Reis with a vacant look.
「I see, so you heard various information from Arein-tachi huh. Good grief. It was my mistake. Since I met you here, does that mean your contractor is the one who is facing off against Arein-tachi? 」
After answering her question, Reis heaved a sigh and then asked her back .
「I have no need to answer your question.」
Aisia blatantly refused to answer his question.
「Hahaha, it seems I can’t bait you that easily. And yet I went as far as to introduce myself.」
「You’re the one who attacked us by using those demons back in Almond. I won’t tell you anything nor will I ever trust you」
「Ah, come to think of it, you’re the one who I nearly missed back at the outskirts of Almond right? What I did at that time was purely out of curiosity but, in fact I’m interested in you, thus I chose this approach.」
Saying so, Reis showed a cold and empty ear to ear smile. It was hard to grasp how much of what he had said was the truth. He was way too shrewd.
「If you have some business with me, just say it right now.」
Aisia replied without showing her expression.
「…….. Spirits, as time passes go higher and become stronger, to the point that their character and appearance gets closer to that of a human and yet, you’re extremely pale when compared to us. It’s as if you’re just a newborn spirit.」
Reis pondered so with a thoughtful expression..
「So what? Is it normal for human type spirits to become like you? In that case, I’m fine with my current condition.」
Aisia said those words with an extremely faint hint of displeasure in her tone.
「Hahaha, it seems you have self-assertion. By the way, I’m not a spirit you know. I’m something akin to their counterfeit. Well, you may think of me as their kin」
「……….I see. Since I have no more time for you, this is my last question. Tell me the whereabouts of Lucius.」
Reis’ expression changed a little when he heard Aisia’s question.
「……….. I see, the one who attacked the search party of princess Christina back in Creia was you guys huh. Good grief, You have no need to go this far to ask that question since it might end up being leaked out by Arein-tachi. 」
He said while heaving a deep sigh.
「In that case, I’ll force you to answer my question.」
Aisia said those words with an indifferent tone.
「Well, no need to hurry. I mean that person likes to appear at unexpected places and situations. Allow me to say that even I don’t know his whereabouts right now. Are you satisfied with my answer? 」
「…………….. I knew that you have no intention to tell me the truth」
「I really don’t know his whereabouts but well, he might be somewhere around the northern region right now. Since that person is similar to me, he likes moving behind the scenes.」 」
Reis grinned widely as he shrugged his shoulders.
「……….I see. That’s enough.」 」
After saying so, Aisia promptly turned around.
「Oya, leaving already? 」
Reis asked, surprised when he saw her turn her back to him. Aisia stopped at her place.
「If you have no business with me, I have no need to stay in this place.」
「 You are not going to ask about Lucius-sama? 」
「There’s no guarantee that you’ll tell me the truth even if I were to ask you. It’s just a waste of time.」 」
Aisia bluntly said those words.
「Didn’t you say that you’ll force me to tell you? 」
「My current duty isn’t to capture you. I have no need to waste my time if you’re not going to be a hindrance to us」 」
「I see. You’re quite cool headed huh. But, that will cause trouble on my side.」 」
Reis heaved a sigh as if he still had some spare time. At that moment, an extremely heavy pressure rose from all over his body. Aisia turned around immediately and looked at Reis. Then, the shadow at Reis’ feet was rapidly expanding, covering the surrounding ground as far as they could see.
The next moment, something that resembled a lesser dragon species called the winged lizard and a jet black minotaur carrying a stone sword in his hand appeared from the shadow.
「Since you have taken the trouble of coming this far, how about playing a little with my collection? 」
Reis asked with a fake smile plastered on his face.
The next moment, the summoned demons moved in order to surround Aisia.
◇ ◇ ◇
Meanwhile, several kilometres away from Aisia’s position, the battle between Rio and Arein-tachi had also just started.
In order to not be toyed around by Rio who had overwhelming speed, Arein-tachi moved around without even stopping. Not approaching too close to him, it could be seen that they were being extremely careful in this battle.
「OI, YOU GUYS! I WON’T GIVE YOU GUYS YOUR PAYMENT IF YOU’RE JUST STANDING THERE LIKE AN IDIOT! I DON’T CARE EVEN IF HE’S INJURED, CATCH THAT GUY! 」
Lucci shouted at the other assailants who had been reduced to mere spectators. Though they were slightly dumbfounded after seeing the battle between Arein-tachi and Rio, they grasped their weapon as if being awakened by Lucci voice. But, no one was willing to be the first to attack Rio.
「He is a monster but, even he can’t face against so many people alone. You guys can win by meddling with him! 」
Lucci threw a knife at Rio while shouting that. Arein also threw his knife towards Rio almost at the same time as if to make use of the difference in timing. Rio easily brushed aside the knives thrown from two direction with his sword.
「For what reason do you think I gathered all of you, move! Anyone who can capture him will get three times of the promised remuneration! 」
The adventurers reacted to ‘three times of remunition’. After looking at each other, few of them went ahead as if to try and gain the first place. The ones left behind started running in order to gain some achievements.
Arein and Lucci sneered in seeing their actions. The two of them did not think that they would be able to capture Rio even with the help of the hired mercenaries who were united by the power of money.
But, it was enough as long as they could use the gap created by those fools. Because they were nothing more than sacrificial pawns for Arein-tachi.
（SO it really came to this huh）
Rio heaved a sigh.
Even if he wanted to get information from Arein-tachi, the ambushers around them were nothing but a hindrance. Though he wanted them to leave immediately once they saw the combat between him and Arein-tachi, he would be able to easily send them flying if they were to come at him.
Thinking so, Rio held his sword in his right hand and then unsheathed his dagger from its scabbard with his left hand. He set a stance with dagger and sword in his hands and then looked at his opponents.
On the other hand, the ambushers whose morale had been boosted due to the extra money showed slight hesitation as they rushed towards Rio with the mentality of a mob character.
The ones who were holding a quarterstaff were the first to close in on Rio by making use of of their reach. They’re mob characters but still stopping that many people was an impossible task even for Rio.
Rio plunged into the crowd to make the first move. Entering right in the middle of them, he made them faint in agony by mercilessly hitting them with the pommel of his dagger.
Thereupon, his opponents swung their heavy staff or quarterstaff in panic. But, Rio easily countered all of them while dodging waves of attacks with ease.
After he dispatched many of the ambushers in a flash, the color of fear gradually appeared on their faces. And then, after successfully chipping off their morale by overwhelming them——,
（I need one more push huh）
Rio lept away to open some distance . There he sheathed his dagger t and faced the assailants again with both of his hands holding on to the hilt of his one handed and half sword.
Following that, he started pouring his magical power into the sword in his hand.
Then, the sword started to cast a pale light. Though separated by more than 10 metres, the ambushers were being vigilant of him and clearly prepared to running away.
Rio brandished his sword horizontally as if to shake it off. In the next moment, a violent storm headed in a straight line towards the mercenaries. The ambushers received a shock similar to being hit by war hammer on their entire body were blown away to the back while screaming in pain.
Coupling with the impact of their landing, a majority of them lost consciousness. Though a few of them who were standing at the back managed escape the attack, their morale had already hit rock bottom. They started to frantically run away from Rio with frightened faces.
When Rio was looking at the fallen assailants, a shadow creeped up from his side. It was Lucci.
Despite Lucci attempting to make use of the gap between the attacks, Rio easily dealt with that ambush. Their swords clashed while making a high pitched sound resounding in their surroundings.