Translator: Mirausean; Silavin
Finalized Editor: theunfetteredsalmon
In recent times, the pedestrians walking past Anthony’s Magic Cottage would often notice little Debbie sitting alone on the steps leading to the shop. The sight of a 15-year-old girl with a petite body carrying a 50 kg greatsword made her seem even more miserable and lonely than she already was.
She would often daydream and the small face of hers would occasionally reveal a pathetic look, with her eyes staring at the other side of the street as if she was wishing for a certain person to emerge from there.
“Why isn’t Hammer back yet? It’s just so sad to see how much weight Debbie lost over this period of time. This is heart-wrenching. How can Hammer leave just like that?” Two aunties discussed softly as they looked at Debbie’s silhouette from afar while they walked. They seemed to feel contempt against Hammer for having left without a word.
“What do you mean by ‘Hammer leaving like that’? Don’t you already understand the whole story?” They tugged and pulled as their discussion went on. “Hammer was definitely captured. We all know that the boy is honest. How can we believe that some Magician accepted him as a disciple? It was obviously the doing of Busca, that cunning fox.”
“That makes sense. I recently heard that Busca’s Magic Store has had a large influx of magic scrolls to sell. There’s definitely something fishy here,” Another woman clearly suspected something. “Poor Debbie, it isn’t a solution for her to continue waiting… It has been three months since Hammer has gone missing, right?”
“It has been exactly three months. Busca is so cruel. If he really did kidnap Hammer, how will Debbie get on with her life? Moreover, the City Lord’s Manor wouldn’t bother with such trivial matters. Maybe after a little more time, everything will be back to normal and Busca will release Hammer.”
The aunties ended their conversation with simultaneous sighs and walked away. They both guessed that Hammer was kidnapped by Busca and he probably had a low chance of returning.
With the great sword in her embrace, she remained in a daze.
A moment later, she fished a piece of paper from her arms; it was a parchment. It has been some time, so creases have already left their mark on the parchment, but it was generally well-kept. It was the letter which Ye Chui sent to Debbie through Busca three months ago. Of course, she didn’t know it was Busca who delivered the letter as she discovered it on the counter of Anthony’s Magic Cottage. The handwriting on the letter was familiar and she read the paragraph several times.
Debbie was furious when she first saw the letter, but her anger slowly turned into doubt, then worry, and then it gradually became the only source of hope for her. Deep within her, she did not fully believe what Ye Chui meant. [Hammer is such a dull boy, how can it be that a great Magician would treat him with regard? And what’s that about maintaining world peace? It would be good if he no longer requires protection… But what can he do at this point?]
She could only place her hopes on this letter.
“Hammer, where are you? Can you come back quickly?”
Ye Chui had made all the preparations.
Around noon, Busca and his son, Carrey, departed the city in a carriage to Mt. Inta of Stan City’s suburbs.
Mt. Inta is a small hill; those magic beasts with astonishing destructive power would not appear there, and there are at most a few barbaric beasts that rest in the hill. However, in this era, beasts such as wild boars and bears do not pose any threat to Swordsmen. In short, Mt. Inta was a very safe hill.
A few years ago, Busca engaged in hunting, so he had a warehouse in the mountain which he uses as his secret residence.
During this period of time, Ye Chui guessed once that he was confined in Busca’s secret residence – the warehouse only had a ventilation gap the size of a fist, and he could occasionally hear birds chirping and see leaves fall from above. He deduced that he was confined in a manor surrounded by trees, but was unaware that the warehouse was located atop a hill.
The carriage stopped before a dense forest at the foot of the hill. Busca jumped off the carriage and scanned the surroundings for any suspicious characters before entering the challenging, dense forest.
Carrey alighted soon after and tied the reins of the carriage to a thick tree, before following behind his father closely.
Compared to three months ago, Carrey looked much more dispirited. He had only just recovered from the wounds caused by Ye Chui’s magic scrolls. Even the parts of his body and face which were burnt had completely healed after being treated by the infamous Light Priest. However, he did not have the energetic vigour which he possessed before. Due to the fact that he used the Protection of the War God, his rank of a level four Swordsman dropped to that of a level three Swordsman, and it was impossible for him to restore to his previous rank.
The worst thing was that the incident where he was humiliatingly defeated by a level two magician had spread around Stan City and he was now a laughing stock. His promising future as a guard of the City Lord’s Manor went up in smoke. He was still donning the armour suit of the guards of City Lord’s Manor, but it was badly damaged and no longer as shiny.
Carrey’s father, who used to be proud of him now only berates him. It only made him more depressed.
The thought of the sly and evil Magician imprisoned in this place would summon an uncontrollable ball of fiery emotion within him whenever his father brought him along. He would grip his long sword tightly, with fantasies of teaching Ye Chui the harshest lessons.
[If I were to battle him again, I definitely wouldn’t lose…] Carrey adopted this mindset since losing the battle with Ye Chui.
What Carrey didn’t know was that his opportunity was arriving soon.
(Silavin: 😄 let’s see how he fares this time)
(Icicle: I am just waiting to see how Busca’s wealth bleeds this time)
“Boss, you’re here,” Deep within the dense forest was a piece of flattened land with a wooden cabin constructed atop it. Hearing footsteps, Locke quickly came out of the cabin. Busca would regularly make a trip to the cabin to collect the magic scrolls Ye Chui carved.
“How was the little boy for the past two days?” Busca wiped the sweat off his face. Although it was the start of autumn, the weather was still hot and dry.
(Silavin: Isn’t he just a fat swine?)
“He hasn’t been tricky these past two days and has managed to submit 30 magic scrolls punctually every day,” Locke laughed. “It’s just that he still wastes a few pieces of parchment.”
“I wouldn’t bother myself with the few pieces of parchment he wasted. Bring over those completed magic scrolls,” Busca demanded. After taking a glance at the cramped and humid cabin, he decided not to enter. Locke then turned around and shouted to Quinn to pass the magic scrolls over to him.
Only simple furnishings were featured in the cabin. At a corner was a staircase that leads to the basement, followed by a long corridor that ends at the room which Ye Chui was imprisoned in. Whilst he stood guard, Quinn drank alcohol to drown his sorrows. Hearing Locke shout, he muttered and kicked the metal door twice *bam, bam* violently. “Boss is here, pass me all the completed magic scrolls!”
As Locke shouted, Quinn stood up and tidied a box beside him. Ye Chui would deposit all the completed magic scrolls every night into the box through the ventilation gap. Just by estimation, there were at least 100 magic scrolls in the box. Quinn picked up the box and looked at the metal door suspiciously. There wasn’t any response from the other side.
Feeling irritated, he kicked the door twice again and yelled, “Didn’t you hear me?! Pass those completed scrolls to me!”
However, there was still no response.
Quinn, who was attacked before by Ye Chui’s <Lightning> spell had a disfigured face. Filled with fury, he put down the wooden crate and opened the air vent and peeked inside, yelling angrily once more, “Don’t act dumb! Pass all the scrolls to me, I will not repeat myself a fourth time!”
Once again, no reply came forth, as though the warehouse had no living thing within. In this small and narrow space, a clear yellow light shone the space. The magic lamp that illuminated the room displayed the clear sight of furniture next to the worn-out trash. But even with such a clear view, Quinn could not see Ye Chui at all.
[I delivered breakfast through the air vent this morning and he was still here. How could he have possibly disappeared?] Quinn’s face was smeared with shock. The whole place was in a mountainous region, underground. The rocks around this warehouse were all hard; not something a Level 2 Magician can break through. So, how was it possible for him to escape?
After a short moment of hesitation, Quinn finally made the decision. He unsheathed the long sword on his waist and pulled out the key to open the iron door, cautiously walking in.
Three months of imprisoning Ye Chui in the room has infused the air with a foul odour. Tightly clenching onto his long sword, Quinn took a quick glance around the warehouse.
“Brat, where are you? Stop hiding!” Quinn roared as he moved towards the bed. [In this room, the only place a person can hide is under the bed.]
However, there was no one under the bed.
Quinn then thought of the pile of worn-out rubbish. He turned around to have a look.
His face was filled with astonishment as a rusty, broken and old, worn-out suit of armour that even Quinn would not bother himself with suddenly stood up!