The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 89
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 89 - The assassin is tested
- Chapter 89 : The assassin is tested
We stepped into the most comprehensive castle in all of Alv— no, in the entire world.
Just how much money did it cost to build this?
And how many extraordinary talents and workers did it take to build this?
Just thinking about it sent a chill down my spine.
[It looks even more amazing when you see it up close.] (Lugh)
[Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I don’t think I ever will.] (Dia)
This castle gave me aesthetic pleasure.
The goal was to pursue efficiency, so other factors like elegance and beauty were supposed to be put aside.
And yet, the meticulous functional beauty shone through on its own, and even while giving priority to functionality, there was a sense of care and attention to detail everywhere.
…Any ambitious aristocrat would be disheartened by such a display reminding them of the difference in rank.
Either that, or they would dream of getting their hands on it at all costs.
Dia’s face glowed with curiosity.
[Lugh, have you noticed?] (Dia)
[Yeah, I sense mana. From a magic device, and it’s running at the moment.] (Lugh)
The moment I stepped through the gate, I felt like I was being watched.
It was a sensor barrier, similar to the one in the royal castle.
It was cruder, though. If I wanted to, I could bypass this security.
But the fact that they created and mounted a device powered by mana was amazing.
If this was the personal work of someone who had the skill for that, then it was nothing to be so cautious about.
But if their research had progressed so far that anyone could build it, it would be nothing short of a miracle.
After all, magic spells were something that could only be used if they were granted to you by the gods through repeated use of each affinity. Dia and I were the only exceptions to that, but this discovery could change the status quo.
Being able to create magic devices meant that they could use mana to give them the desired functions.
This piqued my interest.
While I was thinking about this, we arrived in the castle and were greeted by a servant.
A tall, graceful, middle-aged man.
I lost my composure when I saw him. I had never seen his face before, but I knew who he was.
…What the hell is the meaning of this?
I thought we would be taken to the garden or the reception room, but to my surprise, we were taken to an indoor training area on the premises.
It was preposterously huge, as befits the castle.
More than two hundred swordsmen were trading blows with their swords.
The servant opened his mouth.
[What do you think? Those men are the elite of Romanlung. Impressive, are they not?] (Servant)
The castle alone was already astounding, but so was this place.
All two hundred of those people possessed mana and were well-trained.
In rare cases, commoners could be born with mana, but usually, both parents had to possess it themselves.
And in general, mages were less likely to have children.
Therefore, although mages should be rare, there were two hundred of them right here.
Counting the mages of the main family and the branch family, they were twenty in total in the Tuatha Dé clan. Elders, women, and children included.
But the number of strong men gathered here alone, two hundred, was on a whole different scale.
Just what kind of magic trick is that?
…No, there’s no point in thinking about it. That’s just what House Romanlung does.
In order to preserve superior blood, they forcefully gathered superior people one after another to have children with them.
Even though all but the most outstanding of them couldn’t carry the family name, they were still members of Romanlung who just couldn’t carry the name, as well as thoroughbreds with superior blood mixed in them.
So it’s them, huh.
But as far as I knew, Romanlung should have put restrictions on the right to have children for the members who couldn’t call themselves Romanlung.
However, judging by what I saw, they seemed to have abandoned that system. They had been doing this for a generation or two now, and they hadn’t made that information public.
But for what purpose?
I still have questions.
[I see they use swords of fine quality.] (Lugh)
[You have indeed a discerning eye, sir. Here in Romanlung, we call them steel swords.] (Servant)
The weapons used in this world were generally swords made of low-purity iron due to people’s primitive iron manufacturing techniques.
However, what those swords were made of wasn’t high-purity iron, but steel reinforced with carbon.
They were two steps ahead of this world’s standards.
Those swords weren’t simply cast, they were forged by blacksmiths.
This was only possible because they were gathering talents from all over the world.
The two hundred mages filling my field of view were wielding weapons that were two steps ahead of this world’s standards.
You couldn’t call them anything but the strongest army.
[There is one more thing I would like you to behold, Sir Holy Knight. That unit over there is non-magical.] (Servant)
[Are they carrying bow guns?] (Lugh)
[Indeed, I see you are familiar with those.] (Servant)
They were conducting a shooting exercise with them.
It was a display that sent a chill down my spine.
First, their weapons were a size larger than the average bow gun.
And their mechanism was intricate too.
Two bow guns were stacked on top of each other, allowing for continuous firing, and a foot pedal was attached to them.
Not only that, but they used pulleys to pull back the bowstring.
In my time, it was called a compound bow gun, an advanced form of bow gun capable of firing arrows stronger than what one’s own muscle strength could allow.
As I watched them, they stomped on the pedals with their feet and pulled the arrows with all of their strength, including their back muscles. Doing it that way was more efficient than pulling it by hand.
Additionally, everyone here has incredibly well-trained muscles.
And even after making full use of the strength in their bodies, including their legs, and even with the power of the pulleys, those muscle heads barely managed to fix their arrows, to the point that their faces had turned red.
[Just how excessive is the tensile strength of those strings?] (Lugh)
In the first place, the fact that strings with this much tensile strength could be made in this age was strange in itself.
Two hundred people lined up in two rows.
Their target was a steel armor placed fifty meters away.
When the average mage strengthened their own body with mana, their toughness exceeded that of iron.
However, compared to steel, it was almost equal.
I see, so that’s the point of using this as a target.
[You are about to see something interesting.] (Servant)
The servant chuckled.
As soon as he said that, the first row fired in unison.
A hundred short arrows peculiar to bow guns were spat out, and the steel armor, which possessed the same toughness as mages, was now riddled with holes.
In other words, this was proof that even the seemingly invincible mages could be killed by people who had no mana.
[Thank you for showing me such an interesting display. Is this to announce the dawn of an era where ordinary soldiers can kill mages?] (Lugh)
Honestly, I was surprised.
A mage’s overwhelming strength lies in their defensive power.
The arrows, swords, and flying stones of ordinary soldiers didn’t do much damage to them as long as they were clad in mana.
That’s why they were known for being invincible on the battlefield, and it was established that only a mage could kill another mage.
Hence, they were the stars of the battlefield. Never killed, and always killing.
However, that premise had fallen apart.
No matter how powerful and fast they were, when they died, they died like anyone else. If that happened, they would be downgraded from invincible pawns to just useful ones.
It would be difficult to dodge if a hundred people were firing in a row, as was the case just now.
This marked the end of the era of mages.
Though of course, this only held true for your average mage. If we were talking about the finest first-class mages, then they could hold their own.
Nevertheless, most mages would probably lose their value and authority.
…I always knew that time would come someday. Though I thought it would be due to the invention of guns and gunpowder.
I didn’t think we would get there with such a feat of strength.
I took a deep breath.
Time for me to stop playing along with this charade.
I changed the tone of my voice to one I would deliberately direct at my superiors.
[What in the world was your intention in showing me this, Duke Romanlung? Could it be that you plan to go to war and would like to request Tuatha Dé’s cooperation with it?] (Lugh)
It was common practice to display overwhelming power in order to convince people that it was futile to oppose them.
[Hahaha! So you knew it was me. Well, this is embarrassing. Since when did you see through my disguise?] (
Servant —> Duke Romanlung)
Duke Romanlung, who was disguised as a servant, laughed.
[Since the very beginning. I am a professional. I can easily see right through an amateur’s disguise. The last time we met, Nevan-sama was the one trying to deceive me, and today, you attempted the same ruse?] (Lugh)
[I was confident in my disguise, though. So from your point of view, this was amateur hour, huh.] (Duke Romanlung)
He ran his hands over his face and peeled off the skin. It was an elaborately crafted mask. Anyone other than me would’ve probably never realized.
In fact, Tarte and Dia had their eyes wide open.
[Let me answer your question. I presented this to you, my son-in-law to be, to show you that the era of aristocracy is coming to an end. The only reason aristocrats can hold privileges and sit on their laurels is because they are overwhelmingly powerful. Even incompetent lords can stand above their people by claiming that they will offer them protection.] (Duke Romanlung)
He was right.
Even if they were inept and only had mana going for them, the management of their territory would remain stable.
After all, it made them too powerful. Even if the peasants started a rebellion, they could never win. At best, they could only run away at night.
Additionally, they felt protected by their power. When monsters showed up, they had no choice but to turn to mages for help. That’s why mages were like gods to them. So they were willing to put up with any complaints they had about them.
[I suppose. If killing them became easy, everything would be turned upside down. Instead of an era where having mana or not means everything, it would start an era where mana is considered nothing more than an advantage.] (Lugh)
If the magicians could be easily killed and monsters could be dealt with by ordinary people, the ‘gods’ would become mere humans.
The frustration they had to endure until now would explode, and riots would break out in the territories ruled by incompetent nobles.
It was the same in my old world.
The fall of aristocracy began when knights were no longer the majority.
Knights who had received professional education, rode horses, and wore expensive gear were the strongest.
However, with the improvement of weapons, armors became obsolete, and being trained in martial arts no longer made you outstandingly useful on the battlefield. The moment wars became just a number, and the average knight was considered just another pawn, the respect, admiration, and faith in them vanished, and they were downgraded to the status of average joes.
And the same scenario was about to occur.
In other words, an era where just having mana wouldn’t be enough to rule a territory was about to come.
The incompetent lords would be weeded out and replaced by ordinary people who had no mana.
[Don’t you find this interesting? The talented people who have been neglected simply because they don’t have mana will rise one after another, filled with ambition. …They may try to get us, the old rulers, out of the way. Or they may try to create a nation of non-mages and eliminate us.] (Duke Romanlung)
[I’m afraid I fail to find this interesting since the Kingdom of Alvan remains stable at the moment. At the very least, I do not welcome this scenario.] (Lugh)
[Declaring something so foolish isn’t like you at all.] (Duke Romanlung)
It was typical of Duke Romanlung to label the current generation as foolish.
He was always looking far ahead.
[…If I may guess, this is how you think. You were able to create an anti-mage weapon in Romanlung. So it may be made outside of Romanlung as well, and if not, it will most certainly be eventually. If that’s the case, the Kingdom of Alvan should respond to those changes before anywhere else. As it stands now, the kingdom would be doomed if soldiers from other countries, equipped with a large number of anti-mage weapons, suddenly attacked us. Am I right?] (Lugh)
[Correct. But that’s not all.] (Duke Romanlung)
[I can surmise one more thing as well. The absolute being who won’t succumb even to those weapons will deserve to reign supreme. Yes, someone like you, Duke Romanlung. If it’s you, you would not die from those bow guns.] (Lugh)
[And neither would you. Yes, your answer was perfect. Not even my retainers could think from the same perspective as I did. As I thought, you are excellent.] (Duke Romanlung)
A short arrow even faster than the speed of sound flew at me from behind.
I didn’t even turn around, but I stopped it by holding it between my fingers.
Duke Romanlung applauded.
[Here’s what I think. This change will filter out the aristocrats who grew too conceited simply because they possess mana. And only those who survive will be the real deal. Only they will be worthy of leading the country. Which is why you’ve passed the test. I want you in my family. I’m sorry for testing you to see if you were worthy of being my daughter’s groom. Take this as an apology.] (Duke Romanlung)
[About that, I have no intention of marrying Nevan-sama.] (Lugh)
If I had simply been a member of Tuatha Dé, I wouldn’t have been allowed to refuse.
But since I was the Holy Knight, I could get away with it.
[Yes, I’m aware. I just thought I would make you my son-in-law since you were such a suitable candidate. Now I won’t do anything you dislike. Don’t worry, I won’t test you any further. Nevan is waiting for you. You may go.] (Duke Romanlung)
At that moment, a real servant showed up.
He said he was testing me, but to a certain extent, maybe it was his way of showing his sincerity.
Bringing me in after revealing his hand and sharing his thoughts with me, that is
…For an instant, I thought it would be interesting to become the head of the Romanlung and rule this land. With this much power and authority, I could do anything.
However, I belonged to Tuatha Dé. And I loved Dia and Tarte.
Which is why I couldn’t become part of Romanlung. I belonged to Tuatha Dé to the bitter end.
He made me take a little detour, but now, let’s go see Nevan.
Seems like she also has many plans of her own.
Better stay on my guard.
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