No matter how angry he was, the man behind the voice was gradually calming himself down. He knew that he would not be able to change anything even if he continued to vent out momentarily. Instead, it would affect his judgment for the upcoming situations.
"That group of lizards told me that they could definitely assassinate the target without fail. There would not be any leftover problems after that. That was why I let them hide in the caravans of the merchants to go over there"
A tugging sound was heard. It seemed that the man had already found a chair and sat upon it. His voice sounded a little exhausted. "I've never expected that dragon slayer to be so powerful. Two Intermediate Gold-tier demon-blooded dragons that are so powerful had actually failed to assassinate the target and even died from heavy poisoning Joshua van Radcliffe. Hmph. If this man could really trace it back all the way here through that line with the merchants... TruthfullyI do not have any way"
Clenching both of his fists, with green veins emerging on the back of his hands, it seemed obvious that this incident had made him feel a great sense of humiliation. It was difficult for a man to control everything in his hands, but his calm mind made him begin to think. "Now, the most important thing is to destroy all the evidence that I and the Pentashade Dragons are trading secretly. Anyway, this line has not been used for a long time. The foolish dragons seem to really want to go into battle with the elves in the South. I should have broken this relationship with them a long time ago. This seems like a good opportunity."
Putting his thoughts aside, this man could not help but feel proud of his own discretion. All the merchants that were working under him were nominally affiliated with a business organization in the West that was under his control and yet appeared to have no connection or whatsoever with him at all. Because of that, it was extremely easy for him to cut off ties with the merchants. Even if Joshua could trace it back all the way to his doorstep, the warrior would not have any evidence to do anything to the man.
Now that he had made up his mind, he could immediately take action now. After brooding for a moment, the man called on his butler to bring him a secret communication device. Then he began to send out commands one after another through the device.
Meanwhile, Starfall Year 832, 7th of November, evening, the main city of Moldavia, the Liege's Mansion.
In the surroundings of the streets, the crowds that gathered around to see what was going on because of the explosion were fleeing the scene after being persuaded by the city guards. Even the adventurers and mercenaries who were just bystanders of the incidents were returning back to their motels because night was arriving soon. They would much want to prepare for work or prepare themselves for their adventures on the next day.
As the moon rose gradually, the light of the twin moons was so bright that even the Lord's Mansion that was not shone upon by the moonlight was so visible that night.
Meanwhile, a silver-haired young girl was standing in the backyard of the mansion. Under the moonlight, the girl was kicking off the scattered bricks and debris which resulted from the explosion that happened on the wall.
Ying was wearing a snow-white silk dress today. She had a translucent crystal flower hairpin as an accessory. Meanwhile, her fair wrists and legs were barely exposed. She did not seem to feel uncomfortable because of the gradual drop in temperature as winter was upon them soon. With the moonlight shone upon her body, she looked as if she was covered with a layer of silver yarn.
Of course, regardless of anything, she was still a Divine Armament. So how could it be possible that she would feel cold at all? However, this floating dress was not chosen by Ying. Instead, Joshua thought that the girl should dress like a lady. So he had ordered a number of custom-made clothes that were light and floaty. He did not think that it was appropriate for her to wear military-standard clothing, equestrian clothing, long white shawls worn along with thick shirts, and other clothes that did not show the beauty of a lady.
"Quilts are definitely not what normal girl should wear!" Those were the exact words that came out of the warrior's mouth.
"Master has once again left us here as he charges into battle!"
She mumbled, kicking an oval-shaped stone to a distance. Then Ying turned her head around. Her silvery hair fluttered in the same direction as her movements. Then she looked at the black-haired young man with a sad look on her face as she complained, "Brother, do say something! Don't you have any thoughts about this at all? If this goes on, what is the purpose of the Divine Armaments existence the first place?!"
"Sis, how can I have time to think about that sort of stuff now"
The innocent young boy pressed one of his hands on his chest. Although there was no heartbeat beneath the uniform of a butler and the skin, there was an energy core rapidly spinning. Ling had a look of despair on his face. He was doing countless complicated calculations on the cost required to restore the liege's mansion to its original state. "Restoring the liege's mansion is much more complicated and troublesome than rebuilding it. Another large sum of money will be taken out from the treasury that is already so little now. It seems that we will have to spend part of the money we barely earned from selling the raw materials of the white dragon last time Argh!"
With both hands clutching his chest, the young man closed his pained eyes tightly and pursed his lips as if he was enduring pain without making even the slightest noise.
In the beginning when the demon-blooded dragons spat out their dragon breaths, causing the walls of the mansion around to collapse, Ying and Ling were both within the vicinity of the incident. However, it was pretty obvious that Joshua who was blazing with rage did not notice the look on his weapons' faces. They were looking forward to being used by their master to battle the dragons! Instead, they witnessed their master fly into the sky straight away, pursuing the tails of the two giant dragons that were attempting to flee.
In fact, one minute after the battle, the old dwarf Moreila who was already at the mansion went over to take a look. He grinned a little, shook his head and sighed a few times. Then he returned to the mansion. He was not worried about Joshua's safety at all.
From his point of view, instead of getting bothered about the monster that fought a Supreme-tier Aragami and came back unscathed, it would be better to brew himself a cup of elven coffee that was brought from the distant South by Clyre. Recently, his mind was flooded with the inspiration about some sort of new perspective on the understanding of structures and methods to forge rune armor. In order for him to bring about his inspiration and ideas into reality, the old dwarf would still need to work hard for over a period of time. Hence, he would not have the time to unnecessarily care about people who need not be worried about.
In the meantime, Ling took out a notebook. He furrowed his brows as he drew and wrote something on it. Ying, on the other hand, was just sitting on the pile of wreckage of the mansion. Just when she was sitting there looking at the moon with her head lifted, Joshua, Artanis and Roland were walking slowly towards them from the outer road of the city.
Along the way, many citizens of Moldavia greeted Joshua warmly. In the meantime, the warrior also waved back at them. Some adventurers and mercenaries even cheered and clapped from afar the moment when they saw that their count had once again returned from a successful dragon hunt. Joshua did not try to conceal his smile as well, as he walked back to the liege's residence with joy. Because of that, the pain that he felt from the destruction of his mansion was lifted quite a bit now.
Right behind the three men were the city guards who were carrying two giant dragon heads into the city. They were to place the two dragon heads right in the middle of the square. The hired mages would be dealing with those materials in the morning. Meanwhile, currently, it was the time for the citizens of the city to look at the outcome of their baron's battle. Previously, Joshua did not actually bring back much evidence after he went to slaughter the dragons at the White Dragons' lair. The tale had only be told by some adventurers that coincidentally saw the incident happening. However, these two heads belonging to the demon-blooded dragons could really boost his prestige to a whole new level.
" This is truly a vibrant city. Normally, when winter arrives, the people of the South would stay indoors and avoid reasons to step out of their houses again."
Looking at this scene, Roland mumbled to himself. As he witnessed some girls still wearing short skirts and short sleeves in the cold weather in November, Roland could not help but be deeply astonished as he said, "Don't they feel cold at all?!"
Meanwhile, Joshua was looking at the spot where the holy knight was staring at with slight curiosity. After that, he shook his head in disappointment and said, "This is still alright. The temperature is still a few degrees above zero Celsius. Winter has not arrived if there's no sign of any frost or snow. This is merely late autumn."
Furthermore, even if there was frost, these ladies of the North would still be wearing skirts throughout December and the first blizzard that would mark the arrival of a new year. That, he did not say.
"Impressive physiques. No wonder according to the books, the North always gives birth to warriors that excel in battles"
Muttering softly to himself, Roland saw the liege's mansion from afar. As expected, the walls around the back of the mansion had collapsed. The backyard was a mess. However, what he did not expect was to hear a series of footsteps, followed by the appearance of two light-weighted shadows running up to Joshua's side.
"Master, this is the list of losses."
The black-haired young man walking on the front had a pair of bright golden eyes, with a good-looking appearance and sharp face. He had slightly raised his eyebrows and his hair appeared a little messy spreading over his shoulders. The young man came to the front of the warrior and immediately passed his notebook in his hand over to Joshua who let out a sigh after receiving the notebook. Meanwhile, the silver-haired girl who was standing right behind the young man had a fair and white skin that looked like snow. Her hair was so long that the length had reached her waist. Her eyes were gleaming bright like the lights of a firefly. Although she looked very cute, however, her running posture looked like how a boy would run. She did not get bothered by the corner of her skirt floating up and the crystal hairpin that was about to fall from the tip of her hair Judging from her eyes and her eyebrows, she seemed to be a little unhappy?
"Alright, thank you for the heads up you've done well. Thank you for your hard work."
Upon patting Ling on his head, Joshua brushed Ling's hair that was already messy and made it messier than before. Then he looked at the list which contained details of the losses recorded in the notebook and he could not help but sigh again. After closing the book, the warrior had also naturally noticed Ying who seemed to be disgruntled at the moment. He also noticed that he had once again hurt the feelings of his fellow weapons. So he knew he had to make it up by making a promise to them. "Alright, alright, it's my fault that I did not notice this. Actually it would have definitely been easier if I've brought you two along. I'll make sure that I bring the both of you along next time, alright?"
Well, he was already oppressively powerful all by himself. If he even went out with his weapons, that would be him bullying those dragons already.
Before he could have that thought flashing across his mind, the magic projection of 03 slowly drifted over to the ground from the sky above the residence. The artificial intelligence was expressionless as she was communicating with people. Her long blue hair looked so real that it was floating in the same direction as the wind. A pair of black wings were seen branching out from her thin waist, fluttering right beside of her small body.
"It seems that nothing is wrong here" Her eyes swept past the people right before her, as 03 muttered to herself. Then she flapped her wings and flew back into the sky, leaving the residence, under everyone's gaze.
Due to the sufficient supply of magical crystals to supply her enough energy recently, this female artificial intelligence was able to cover her projection over more than half of the city. Also, she seemed to be fond of moving around in this strange way. According to 03's explanation, that strange way of moving around, the thrill of it, could actually heal her soul that was a little scattered over a thousand years of isolation.
Since she had already stated that so clearly, Joshua could only go along with her and let her do what she liked. Well, she would only consume a little bit more energy than usual, so it would not bother anyone anyway. As long as she was happy, that should be enough.
"Another strange person," Artanis mumbled as he stroked his beard. Meanwhile, the holy knight who was standing beside the old archbishop stared at the magic projection that was flying further from them. Then he muttered softly to himself, "Ghost? Flying human? Flying human ghost?! An undead with wisdom?! Could it be some sort of lich?"
In a flash, he came up with several guesses, and then he rejected all them one after another. At the end of it, Roland had an epiphany. "Oh! That's a magic projection! No wonder it looked so much like a ghost, however, it does not have any negative energy or the presence of a ghost but where do the wings come from then?"
The previous doubt had yet to be solved, and a new doubt arose already this liege's residence was really interesting.
However... the holy knight turned his head around to look at the young man and the young lady that remained silent as they trailed behind Joshua. He gave it some thought. After that, he sounded serious with a hint of doubt in his tone as he spoke, "Mister Joshua."
"Hmm? What's up?"
Joshua, who was thinking about what materials from the demon-blooded dragons he should sell in order to cover the insufficiency on his capital money, responded to the holy knight. After that, he frowned and looked at the notebook in his hand again.
However, Roland did not notice that. He appeared careful and serious, however, a little awkward as he looked the warrior in his eyes and said, "Although this is probably your personal interest"
Upon hearing that, Joshua turned his head around, with a puzzled expression on his face.
After a brief pause, the holy knight looked at Ying and Ling, and also the back of 03's shadow that was leaving them all behind. Then he took a deep breath and spoke with care, "It is against the law of the Empire Kingdom and the law of the church to take advantage of children!"