Thanks a bunch to Rithrin11 for supporting on Ko-Fi!!
Ardis who climbed the stairs at the back of the tavern reacted to the killing intent from above. Quicker than his thoughts, he stabbed the unsheathed 『Skies of Myriad Colors』 towards the sky.
The sword stabbed into the abdomen of a man with a dagger in his hand. There was a hidden space at the ceiling, probably to ambush anyone going up or down the stairs.
The dagger held by the man were smeared in some kind of liquid, and reflected the moonlight shining through the window. Without even having the chance to avert his face from the dripping blood from the blade, there were two spears that came from each side of the walls beside him.
Unlike the presence he could feel coming from the ceiling, Ardis’s reaction was a beat slower but, a spear that isn’t fortified with mana couldn’t possibly break through even his impromptu physical barrier.
Like the sound of a blade striking a hard stone, the spear broke in half and deflected back.
「A trap huh? 」
Seeing the four spears that came at him without any user, Ardis commented.
After finishing off the man that came from the ceiling and throwing him to the first floor, Ardis advanced. Going up the stairs, Ardis who had arrived at the second-floor corridor saw two women on the side of a majestic door.
The women were wearing servant outfits, and bowed towards Ardis. Different from the filthy tavern from outside, their pretty appearance beside the majestic double doors were strange in a sense.
「Welcome. The head is waiting inside. 」
They have of course seen what happened to the person at the stairs just now, but they greeted and welcomed Ardis as if it never happened. Opening the doors on both sides, they bowed again and held the two doors open. There were many human silhouettes behind the opened door.
Ardis who was about the enter the room without doing anything was suddenly stabbed at by the two women. There were short daggers that were on their hands that came from somewhere aimed at Ardis’s head and abdomen accurately.
Of course, Ardis didn’t let his guard down in the first place. As a natural reaction, he cut off the arm of the woman coming from the right, and with his other hand, he grabbed the wrist of the woman on the left.
Even so, the women tried to take out weapons again, but Ardis just sliced their head off with blades of magic. With the two women without their heads falling on the ground, Ardis stepped into the room calmly.
「Welcome, mister guest. 」
The door was at a corner of the room, the wall stretched on the left, while empty space stretched on the right.
Following the voice that came from the right, Ardis saw a middle-aged man on his desk with his arms on the table. The man who looked like in his mid-forties didn’t have eyebrows.
Was it his birth trait or did he shave it off, he has a thin layer of purple hair, so it isn’t like he has no hair at all.
The man smiled shrewdly as he was gazing at Ardis. He was the one that called out to Ardis just now. With armored men standing on both his sides, there were many people lined up around the room looking at Ardis. It’s likely the browless man is the one with the highest position here.
「Now, don’t just stand there and come on in. 」
The browless man acted like the scene where Ardis killed the two women in front of his eyes as nothing. The people surrounding him is still in silent. Even though he felt creeped by their actions, he didn’t show it on his face and continued walking.
If he’s planning on playing some mental tricks on Ardis, Ardis just have to act like it never bothered him. There’s nothing good for Ardis if he is dragged in with their atmosphere after all.
From what he can detect with his mana, everyone in this building is in this room it seems. No matter the procedure, he’s Ardis’s target. Ardis was glad that he was able to save time finding the person.
Ardis walking to the middle of the room was like making all the people around surround him willingly. Although it isn’t a small room, because of the number of people around, there’s only at most three meters separating him at the middle and someone else.
It’s a distance that can be easily reached with a single breath if they wished to cut Ardis.
But that’s the same for Ardis as well. He has the confidence to get rid of everyone in the room in a moment if he wanted to.
「I welcome you here. I’m deeply sorry for what my subordinates had treated you downstairs. 」
Without a single sliver of reflection in his tone, the man said words of apologies like reading it from a book.
「It’s nothing, after all, you caused me some troubles too. Rather, there’s no need to apologize for people that are already in the afterlife. 」
「Oya, that’s scary. 」
The browless man acted he was afraid, and leaned back onto his seat, and continued his talk.
「Either way, it wasn’t our intention to go against 『Countless Swords Sorcerer』. Since it was a business that day, it’s inevitable that it had to take up the shape of violence but, it would be good if you didn’t come and disturb us though? 」
「What selfish thinking. Whatever you think of my actions, we were attacked out of nowhere in the day. Did you expect me to say, oh is that so, and leave it alone? 」
「But didn’t you take quite the drastic actions to my precious subordinates too. It’s same for both of us, right? Even those that welcomed you below, and the girls too, they’re all our irreplaceable members. 」
「You were the one that tried to do something first, but now you’re acting the victim? To say they’re your 『Precious subordinates』 despite helping them at all, it hurts my ears to hear. 」
「Of course they’re precious. Our loss is big because they’re important, it’s a loss hard to endure. And――」
With a disgusting smile, the browless man had his chin rested on both his arms.
「If we didn’t suffer any loss, you wouldn’t be satisfied right? 」
「……Yeah, I see. 」
Ardis felt truly disgusted in his stomach.
The people below at the tavern was intentionally there for Ardis. They didn’t know anything, but only offered to Ardis as a way to appease his anger.
But since they’re all members of the organization in the first place, they’re targets that Ardis intended to beat. But even so, what the browless man did with the organization was something that made Ardis want to spit.
「Your kind of people is what I hate the most. 」
Ardis said it without a single decoration.
「That’s troubling. Since I can’t tolerate any more――」
「I don’t need your toleration. The only thing I want is for you to 『Get lost』. 」
Ardis completely kicked away his negotiation.
「That’s not peaceful at all. 『Get lost』, do you mean that you will kill everyone here? 」
「That’s what I came here for, do you still not understand? 」
As if troubled, the browless man sighed.
「There’s something called necessary evil in this world. There’s a necessary role that we fulfil in this world. There’re many customers that need us. Well, depending if they have the money or not. 」
「Are you saying that you have the value to exist? 」
「Is it wrong? Well, I’m not claiming that we are justice but, it’s not like everything revolves around that. Do you not allow at least that much? 」
「I know people like you are necessary evil in the world. But, that is that. There’re many similar organizations out there. Even if you cease to exist, the other organization will just fill your role. 」
While Ardis was going around crushing their bases in the capital, Ardis had realized many surveilling eyes on him. They’re probably another competing organization, trying to find out the reason behind Ardis’s drastic action towards the browless man’s organization.
Since Ardis didn’t feel any hostility from them, Ardis had left them for the time being without doing anything. Rather, they will properly report the demise of the organization that laid a hand on Ardis, they will become the deterrent for the other organizations.
「Even if I really did crush every single organization like yours, there will just be more created. That’s why even if you lots don’t exist anymore, the world doesn’t change. 」
「Then it’s the same conversely? Nothing will change even if we cease to exist. It’ll be meaningless for us to 『Get lost』 then. 」
「I said it, that is that. I’m not here trying to be a hero of justice. My reason here is simple, you are 『My enemy』. 」
It’s a simple reason. The reason why the browless man and his organization is in this predicament isn’t because they are evil. It was a simple reason of them targeting Ardis’s pupil that he had taken care of for the past half year. And even while dragging in Ardis himself.
「That’s troubling. Our talk is not going anywhere. But do you really think that you can win against this many people? I suppose you don’t think we only have this many people here? Are you intending to face against all of us? 」
「It’s not much against all of you here, and your other members had already been cleaned up. Here is what your organization left. 」
The browless man’s expression crumbled at Ardis who said so composedly.
「Fu……, fufufu……. Ahahaha! 」
What was funny, the impression of a calm and calculative man the browless man had was totally blown away.
「Oops, pardon me. Since it was such an unrealistic story, it was quite a laugh. As expected from the great 『Countless Swords Sorcerer』, your ambition is quite large. But I wouldn’t recommend saying such unrealistic things. It will trouble everyone――」
「Three bases in Elmenia Empire, five in the Coalition, three in Thoria, and four including here in the capital. A total of fifteen places. 」
Ardis said so covering the browless man’s words.
Just by counting how many were there, the browless man had a clear change in expression. The two armored man beside the browless man showed some shaking in their expressions, and even the others in the room seemed unrest. They have understood what Ardis said.
「――Except here, the others are no longer there. 」
「N-No. There was a report of one in the capital getting attacked but, other than that……」
It’s natural why he couldn’t believe what Ardis said.
After all, even from what Chezare knew, there were only two bases in Elmenia Empire, four in the Coalition, one in Thoria, and the four in the capital. The rest is what Ardis found out by himself, either by investigation or interrogation on who he captured.
Ardis thought there might’ve been leftovers but, from how the browless man reacted, it didn’t seem so.
「Wouldn’t the report from the Empire arrive tomorrow? But that is if there’re still people left to send a report, and any to receive it. 」
「I-It’s a bluff! 」
While shaving at the browless man’s face of calm, Ardis started counting with his fingers again.
「The duelist in the Empire, one that used a thin sword in Calves of the Coalition, and there was another that used some stealth weapons in Thoria. Those that acted arrogantly were already a step ahead waiting for you guys. 」
The browless man who is now speechless couldn’t even form his fake smile.
Finally understanding their own situation, Ardis had the two flying swords at his sides and announced.
「Well, that’s all the greetings for now. It’s time for you all to depart. 」