Chapter 36: The Wizards of Each
Brent, who was ordered to learn new magic and enlarge it, had to start by understanding the technique of using whirlwinds to steal other people’s magical power.
“Do you think I would teach you that even if I died?!”
Most of the arrested rebels cursed and said such things. However, if you looked closely, you could see cracks in their seemingly united bond. While the leaders, Wildcat and Frog, never spoke, a man known as Mole wavered in his determination, saying, If you tell me the secret, you will get a reward and I will release you from the cell quickly,” while dangling a carrot in front of their noses.
One day, Mole proudly said, “The key is to activate wind magic in a way that the magical power forms a small whirlpool when creating a whirlwind. Frog taught me that,” and demonstrated it. Brent silently cheered in his mind. Mole seemed more likely to confess willingly than to be tortured.
Mole, flattered and enticed by the reward, ended up performing in front of the palace wizards.
The wind wizards and the practitioners of absorption and elimination magic, who served in the palace, practiced tirelessly every day to reproduce the techniques they were taught. Then, one day, inspired by Mole’s demonstration, someone succeeded in creating a small invisible whirlwind with a hint of absorption and elimination magic.
“We did it! I’m starting to understand. Instead of creating the original wind, I think we should imagine a whirlpool from the moment we gather magical power in our bodies and cast the spell.”
Even those who had previously failed gradually became able to send out small whirlwinds of concentrated magical power, which did not create actual wind. The remaining challenge was to combine it with absorption and elimination magic to target someone.
The practitioners of absorption and elimination magic were enthusiastic, saying, “Now is the time for us to be useful to the kingdom.” The two groups of wizards devoted themselves wholeheartedly to learning new magic. Until now, their job had been to extract just enough magical power from the imprisoned wizards to keep them alive. They were burning with the desire to make the most of this opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister received a report from the person he sent to bring Haru back.
“According to Lord Conrad Sloane, on the way back from rescuing Haru Ayukawa from the rebels’ stronghold, they were abducted by bandits. We are currently searching for shops where abducted women work in the Sloane and Heartfield territories, just to be safe, but we haven’t found them yet.”
“What about Victor?”
“Victor was also abducted at the same time as Haru.”
“Hmm, that’s strange. Even if his reasoning was burned out, would Victor, who was called a genius wizard, be taken away without resistance? There may be someone assisting Victor and Haru. Continue to track Haru Ayukawa’s whereabouts. Since Victor is likely with her, search from the areas where he has connections.”
The person searching for Haru quietly left the room, and in their place, Brent, the leader of the magician unit, came to report.
“Prime Minister-sama, today, although it is very weak, we were able to combine absorption and elimination magic with wind magic. The target person testified that they felt their magical power being drained, although it was only a little. Only one pair has succeeded so far, but the learning process is progressing smoothly.”
“I see. Hurry and urge all the pairs to learn the new magic.”
While the Prime Minister and Brent were pushing the palace wizards, the group of rebels imprisoned in the dungeon secretly communicated through their familiar birds.
Normally, they would drain their magical power to the brink of exhaustion, but the practitioners of absorption and elimination magic in the palace were fatigued.
So, they reduced the amount of magical power drained and discarded each day. Wildcat was the first to notice this. She sent her familiar bird to her close aide, Frog. The response came back quickly. They communicated back and forth using the familiar birds.
[The surveillance has become lax. If we’re going to escape, now is the chance.]
[Let’s gradually create small openings in the iron bars using magic during the time when our magical power is replenishing.]
[Understood. How are the others doing?]
[Mole is suspicious. The attitude of the person monitoring him has changed. He may have turned traitor. It’s better not to send a familiar bird to him.]
Wildcat, Frog, and Mole were each held in separate cells, but they slowly made small cuts in the iron bars during the intervals when their magical power was replenishing. Frog continuously hit the window’s iron bars with thin threads of water-like magic, while Wildcat used her expertise in body enhancement to harden her nails and fingertips, continuously scratching the iron bars. Their comrades stood guard.
They wanted to overthrow the system of a nation ruled by nobles and practitioners of offensive magic. However, they were arrested during the testing phase. They couldn’t end their lives while still imprisoned. They wanted to change the system of this country. With that determination, they continued to challenge the iron bars little by little.
On the other hand, in the training grounds of the palace, the wind wizards and the practitioners of absorption and elimination magic trained day after day. Standing by the window in his office, Prime Minister Benedict Farrar looked down on them and pondered.
“Even if they learn the new magic, there won’t be any opportunity to use it unless a war breaks out. So, why not create a situation that necessitates a war?”
Pauline foresaw a major disaster five months from now.