Second Death Row Series: A Death Row Convict Teaches at a School of Magic - Cel a64
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“Excuse me. Ms. Sharon, right?”
“Oh, here you are.”
After being introduced by Elias, Shiryu and Shizuku came to the Garrisoned Corps’ guard station and were soon able to spot the person they were looking for. Even in this world, Sharon’s blue hair was rare.
“It’s been a while, Ms. Sharon.”
“About a year, I guess. It truly has been a long time. Shiryu, have you grown a little taller?”
“Yes. You used to have a boyish look, but now you are wearing a little bit more of an adult look.”
“That’s a complicated emotion…”
Despite curving up her lips, a tinge of exhaustion was noticeable on her face.
“Um, Ms. Sharon… are you busy with your work?”
“Ngh… You are still as sharp as ever, Shizuku.”
Sharon chuckled inconsolably as she strained her eyes to see her coworkers who were hustling around her.
“You both are aware of the tragedy that befell this city last month, aren’t you? More than ten people from the Garrisoned Corps perished in that incident, over thirty were wounded, and the organization was in shambles due to the loss of its leader, Shiva Ramerick, who was killed in the line of duty. Since the majority of the deceased were veterans of the corps, we are now struggling even to carry out our routine work. Even I, a young member, have been appointed Deputy Head.”
“Eh, Ms. Sharon, you are the Deputy Head!?”
Similarly caught off guard by Shiryu, Shizuku also lacked knowledge of this development. Nevertheless, given her ability, it seemed like a sensible decision.
“Yes. Furthermore, now there is a bit, or rather, fairly unsavory information that came in the evening, and I was already panicking until a moment ago.”
“Eh… What’s going on?”
For a moment, Sharon showed signs of hesitancy, but then looked at Shizuku and company before speaking up again.
“Do either of you have heard of a city called Valiahar in the east of the kingdom?”
“Yes. If my memory serves me right, it is a commercial city, correct? I have never visited there as it is awfully far from here though…”
“Right. I received information that there are people who came to this city from that distant place. And they are another tricky bunch…”
“What do you mean?”
The wanted list for this month was ultimately presented by Sharon, but following closer examination, it was not from this city.
“It’s the wanted posters for Valiahar. The ‘Cannibal Merchant’ and ‘Viper’ featured in it are the uninvited guests this time.”
Being told this, Shizuku peered into Shiryu’s hand as he flipped through the wanted list, and immediately found “Cannibal Merchant” since it was on the very first page of the wanted list, which contained the most notable names of the moment.
Sasha Croizet, “Cannibal Merchant,” Rate A-.
Remarks: The nickname is derived from the fact that this individual kills only merchants in the underworld. The merchants of the underworld are threatened and compelled to sell her goods, and if they do not sell them by the deadline, they will be killed. Despite lacking any fighting skills, this figure always employs powerful bodyguards.
“…It’s exactly like cannibalism, right?”
Sharon nodded in response to Shiryu’s murmurs.
Further turning of the pages led to the discovery of “Viper” as well.
“Viper” Felt? Rate S+.
A deep wrinkle creased Shiryu’s brow when Shizuku unwittingly let out a shout.
“Shizuku, besides her rate, it seems to be more complicated than that.”
Shiryu’s finger was positioned on the “Remarks” column. On it was written something unbelievable.
Remarks: No magical power.
An ominous stillness reigned in the store.
I nearly called out Hansa’s name, only to swallow it.
There is something there. A snake staring at me, holding its breath.
I should turn back now. The door was not yet closed, and by taking a step backward, I could slip out right away.
It was then that I realized that the Mist Veil I was clad in was not stable. Even the control of my magical power was inconsistent. After pondering the cause of this, my recollection arose at once. Right, it was the influence of the stone that was placed in this store to obstruct magical power.
After all, the odds were against me here. The safest course of action for me was to leave, even though I felt awful for Hansa.
Right when I was about to retreat with that introspection, the door behind me abruptly slammed shut.
Sensing a presence approaching me soundlessly at that moment, I immediately deployed Chakrameth. Its deployment as a hybrid-type was complicated by the effects of magical power blockage, and its degree of accuracy would earn me a failing mark with my pupils.
Relying only on my experience and intuition, I swung the blade and felt a definite tingling sensation. Chakrameth was soon shattered, though, and with an impact as if struck by a blunt instrument, my body was sent flying and crashing against the wall.
While the air was driven out of my lungs, I couldn’t even entertain the prospect of groaning.
There was a tangible feeling of the adversary getting closer once more. Reminded of the close combat with zero visibility that Matthias had taught me in the past, I closed my eyes and focused on picking up the direction of the wind.
Turning my head, I evaded a thrust aimed at my head and perceived my opponent gasping for breath. They must have been convinced that they could finish me off with that.
But unfortunately, my area of expertise was close-range battle rather than long-range magic combat.
What I executed was a heavy concentrated, destructive blow, as taught to me by Matthias.
The fist, nevertheless, returned with a forceful sensation. Was it defended by a blunt instrument similar to the one they used earlier?
The opponent slid back. At the same time, the room was lit up.
“―What a surprise. I didn’t expect someone more proficient in close combat in the dark than I am.”
A strikingly attractive, jet-black woman came forth.
The jet-black dress she wore had a deep horizontal slit and gave a resemblance to a Chinese dress. Even though she stood out because of her black hair, red eyes, and mole beneath her eye, the object she was grasping captivated my attention the most.
Had I been struck by that thing earlier? Not much larger than the long sword Shiryu was carrying today, its tip was steeped and its base was broad as if it were a drill or a heavy spear. This white drill had thin slits at regular intervals, further accentuating the illusion of a drill.
“You don’t work for this city’s Garrison Corps, do you? You don’t seem to have any other companions either. Are you a regular here?”
The lovely woman gazed at me with narrowed eyes as though evaluating my worth. Each and every move of the woman emanated a bewitching and inexplicable charm of a mature woman. Like Xenia, she exuded a similar vibe.
But if Xenia possessed an artificial emotion, this woman projected an uncanny, even serpentine air of mystery. As if she were leaning forward to swallow me whole, she shot at me with eyes that regarded me as her prey.
“…What happened to the owner of this store?”
I tossed a question, neglecting the woman’s words, to which she shrugged her shoulders.
“He was instructed by Sasha to make sure he sold it out before the deadline. Because of the shopkeeper’s obstinacy, I had a hunch that something like this would occur.”
By uttering that comment, the woman in front of her revealed her affiliation with the earlier-mentioned merchant group, which sold the stone that restricted magical power. She was most likely a bodyguard for that merchant.
“But it might still be not too late. Sasha is with him in the room over there, so why don’t you go check on him if you are anxious?”
“…No, he’s a grown man, he can take care of himself.”
“Oh, don’t fret, sweetheart. After all, you’re not going to make it home in one piece either.”
A sigh was released from my mouth―at that exact second, I withdrew the gun from my waist with a swift release and fired it a few times.
As if she had seen them coming, the woman averted them with remarkable ease.
“I wondered why everyone else took this for granted.”
“Your determination to kill wasn’t evident, but your expression was too over the top. You lack acting talent.”
“That’s the most wounding thing I’ve ever heard!”
While firing more shots, I generated more magical power. Under the impact of the stone, the precision was much lower than usual.
“You’re too late!”
Eventually, my ammunition ran out, at which point the woman charged at me slippery.
With a click of my tongue, I cast away my gun and reinforced my fist with “Iron Gauntlet” sorcery.
I intercepted the woman’s thrust with my fist. Despite her slender physique and the unbalance of her unrefined weapon, the woman brandished it as effortlessly as if it were a rapier.
“Are you some sort of monk? Even so, your face is hidden, and you have plenty of devious schemes in store!”
“I am a bashful person!”
Somehow managing to deflect the thrust, I maneuvered my way into the woman’s pocket, as if slipping into the opening. In this position, she will not be able to defend herself with the drill as she did earlier.
“What a pity～”
My back, though, was suddenly jolted by searing pain. Turning around, it turned out that the drill she was wielding had separated from the center of the blade like a series of beads, extended by a wire, and after making a turn, the tip of the drill had penetrated deeply into my back.
“A serpentine… sword?”
The woman impaled me on the tip of her weapon, which roared and groaned, lifting me up in the process and creating enough velocity to send me hurtling into the wall. Having failed to defend myself, I plummeted directly into the wall, crashing through the sturdy brick wall with all my bones shattered.
“Oh my, that was louder than I thought it would be. I hope the upstairs and the rest of the building won’t notice… Huh?”
“…You’ve done some really nasty things, haven’t you…”
At the sight of me gushing red lightning and jerking my limbs back to their original position, the woman let out an exclamation of admiration.
“T-That’s… wonderful! What’s with that ability!? With you, I won’t have to re-purchase each toy at the slave market after destroying them! You’re so eco-friendly!”
“…You’re the first person to respond that way…”
“Plus, your face is just the type of freshness I fancy, so I have no more complaints!”
That was when it registered to me that the mist that had shrouded my figure had dissipated.
Had the effect been broken by the stone when I was regenerating?
“…It can’t be helped.”
Killing this woman here was a solid choice.
I was within striking distance of the woman in a flash thanks to Sprint Move.
The magic crystal stone I had taken out was crushed. The surge of seething magical power instantly deformed the woman’s attractiveness.
The decomposition magic was about to initiate, eroding the woman’s beauty right down to its atomic level…
The vast magical power of the magic crystal stone, which can usually be controlled, went out of hand.
The outcome was that the outpouring of magical power destroyed the tip of my right arm, where the magical power was converging, and it imploded, entwining me and the woman.
Both of us were knocked off and I hit my back hard against the wall. The right side of my body was sizzling hot. In fact, it must have been scorched by the explosion.
Never did I imagine that I would fail to control the magic crystal stone… It seemed that I had underestimated the effect of the magical power obstruction stone.
“Kafka” had already suffered enough damage to the point that it could no longer maintain its original shape by the time the magical power amassed by Soul Eater regenerated my wounds and I got up. Hansa would have gone into a coma if he had caught sight of it.
In the midst of all this, I searched for the figure of the woman from earlier but failed to find her. I then noticed that the door at the back―the door leading to the room where the guns were placed―was ajar. It was inconceivable that she would make a blunder of this magnitude, and she was probably inviting me to join her.
Either way, I had no choice but to stand my ground now that she had seen my face.
After opening the door and stepping inside, I found myself in the presence of a petite girl standing in front of the woman from earlier and the collapsed Hansa.
A faint groan passed in reply when I called out his name. He was apparently still alive.
“Felt, what the heck. I have given you an order not to let anyone in until I finish my business with this old man!”
“Oh, pardon me. He’s even more of a monster than I realized…”
“I don’t want to hear that excuse anymore!”
Her appearance in such a setting seemed out of place owing to the girl’s distinctive high-pitched voice, which oddly reminded me of a child’s voice in a cartoon.
That girl, however, must be the merchant Hansa was referring to based on the present circumstances.
“Mhm, it can’t be helped today, and I have no choice but to go home! If you screw up the same way again, I’ll have to cut your pay!”
“Yes, I’ll be careful. Also, my serpentine spear was broken earlier, so the repair…”
“…You’ll have to pay for it.”
“―And that person there who interfered with us, you can have this back, too!”
The girl said so as she flung a small bottle at me.
I accepted it normally as if it was not a trap.
In it were the little finger of a left hand and five toes of a foot.
“I’ll turn you into that old guy over there if you meddle with me again! Bye!”
“Bye-bye. See you again♪”
The two of them then departed through the rear door.
I rushed to Hansa’s side first and assessed his condition. I performed a simple first aid treatment once it became clear that he wasn’t in a life-threatening situation.
A knock came at the store’s entryway at that same moment. There had been an explosion of that scale. Even though it was a brick wall, the blast must have been audible to the outside crowd.
Carrying Hansa, I hurried to the back door where the two had just left. As I did so, my eyes fell on a long, neatly wrapped gun, the only one propped up against the wall.
This was most likely the sniper rifle I had come to pick up today.
After some hesitation, I took it and headed for the rear entrance.
There was a chance that I might be pursued. After concealing my face, the first place to go would be the remains of Mathias’ mansion. At the very minimum, the roof and walls should still be in place.
Knowing that I had gotten myself into yet another predicament, I sighed lightly and hastened my steps.
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