Light Novel Volume 5 Chapter 4
Translator: Kell | Editor: Ryunakama
Flashback to after Eld faced Georgis in the forest.
“All right. Let’s go check one thing.”
The script to Cardinal Georgis’ defeat was pretty much set in stone. However, there was still one remaining factor that could screw things up.
The bloodstone—a special magical material obtained from the ritual that made belladonnas grow.
Using it won’t change the outcome of the battle between us and Cardinal Georgis, but the number of deaths may increase significantly. We want to avoid that going forward.
That’s why I decided to go and scout out the place where the bloodstones were being used. I’ve already pinpointed the location. The stones’ distinctive mana made it easy to detect using magic.
Carefully avoiding being detected by Cardinal Georgis, I headed to the location of the bloodstones. The stones were apparently lumped together in large quantities. I could sense a great mana coming from there.
If they were collecting bloodstones knowing fully how to use them, that would be quite dangerous.
“I hope he doesn’t find me.”
Cardinal Georgis should be tightening security after the raid on the ritual site. If there was a chance that the Cardinal himself would come and fight me again, it would be wasting all my effort of getting him off my tail.
My mana had almost completely recovered since then. If Cardinal Georgis showed up, I could probably kill him in under ten seconds. But I want to avoid that if possible.
Cardinal Georgis must die not as a “poor victim killed by an intruder,” but as a “diabolical villain who committed grave crimes.”
It would be preferable if Count Meigis himself defeated him. Until then the Cardinal had to stay alive.
So in case he found me, I would have to act like I was cornered and escaped, but even then he could see through the ruse.
I’m good at devising strategies, but not at acting. Either way, running into him will only cause trouble, so if possible I want to proceed undetected.
I shouldn’t let the Cardinal know that I’m stronger than him. Not right now. I can move easier in the future if he underestimates me.
Security’s too lax, I thought as I watched the guards.
I already had a visual of the warehouse where the bloodstones were likely gathered. But there were only two guards around it.
The forest where the bloodstone ritual took place was heavily guarded, even during daytime, yet security around the stones’ location was almost non-existent.
They probably don’t know how to actually use the bloodstones.
If they knew the value of bloodstones, they would never guard them like this. Perhaps they thought of the bloodstones as mere by-products of the belladonna.
As I was watching the warehouse, two soldiers started walking towards my direction. I kept my attention on them while maintaining my Mana Invisibility.
“Can we really use this? It can’t be controlled.”
“His Excellency the Cardinal didn’t seem to be expecting much, either. Well leaving them around is a waste, so might as well test ’em out.”
“I think experimenting on slaves is a waste too.”
“Agreed. Eh, we’ll just have to follow orders.”
The two soldiers carried out some bloodstones. Apparently, there were experiments being conducted using the stones.
Let’s take a look at that first, shall we?
A little later. I had followed the soldiers to an outdoor training ground. There was a male slave there, restrained using shackles.
“We’ll give you one, okay? So just shut up.” A soldier tossed bloodstone at the man.
“Stone!” he exclaimed, lunging on the bloodstone and then swallowing it in one gulp.
It must be quite painful to swallow a stone of that size, but the man did not care one bit. He even looked delighted.
Then, the slave’s body underwent a strange change. His muscles swelled, blood vessels popping out, and his eyes were bloodshot. It was like some kind of doping. No, it was doping.
Unrefined bloodstones also worked as a kind of drug. His desire for the stone and the absence of life in his eyes were indications of addiction.
“Always gives me the creeps,” one soldier said.
“Yeah. I really don’t want to fight with these guys,” the other added.
“Absolutely not. That said, we still have to continue with the experiments.”
The soldiers set up a target in front of the man.
“Shoot,” one said, holding a bloodstone in his hand.
“Uh?” The slave tilted his head. “Wh-Why?” he asked, watching the soldier with his vacant eyes.
“Son of a bitch…”
The soldier tried to draw his sword in irritation, but when he saw the slave’s abnormal muscles, he sheathed it back. He probably realized he might get the tables turned on him if he approached the man.
Judging from their movements, the soldiers were quite skilled, even compared to the troops in the royal capital. They probably had years of experience.
Yet even he feared the man buffed up by a bloodstone. A strong guy with no skill was not much different from a monster. As long as you knew how to fight, there was no need to be afraid of them.
“Just shoot. Shoot the target and I’ll give you a stone.”
The soldiers were trying to entice the slave. It seemed to have an effect. The man’s absent eyes flickered for a bit.
“Ah? Oh, shoot… shoot…”
The man began to pose as if he were nocking an arrow even though he wasn’t holding a bow. He didn’t realize that and just continued shooting non-existent arrows.
“Shit. He’s completely broken down.”
“I told you they’re pretty much useless, except for the first five minutes after they ingest their first stone.”
“Yeah. I think we should just hand this slave over for the ritual before he dies.”
As I expected, this was not the first time the slave ingested a bloodstone. His mind must have broken down a long time ago. The fact that he was transported to Cardinal Georgis’ territory meant that he was most likely a violent criminal, but still I couldn’t help but pity him.
“Not arrows, but the Magic spell “Fire Arrow”!”
“O-Oh… Fire Arrow…”
The slave finally understood what he had to do. As he recited the incantation blankly, an arrow of flame shot out of his palm. But the arrow missed its target horribly. It landed on the ground and exploded.
“You’re not getting this stone until you hit it.”
“O-Okay! I hit!”
He started firing arrows randomly. Not even one of them hit its target.
“His power increased.”
“But he’s useless when he can’t even control the spell.”
The target was neither small nor far. Even amateurs would find it difficult to miss. It only goes to show how much control was needed for the Magic spell.
They sure are wasting resources.
As I originally expected, they didn’t know how to use the bloodstones. The reason for the lax security was probably because Cardinal Georgis and his men weren’t aware of the stones’ worth. If you refined it properly before using it, bloodstone could be quite effective.
From what I’d seen so far, there was no need to take measures. However, if someone from the Garden of Despair taught them how to use the stones, there could be trouble. So I decided to sabotage them.
I left the training ground and snuck into the warehouse, where I cast a spell called ‘Delayed Refinement’ on the bloodstones stuffed carelessly inside barrels.
There are two types of magic to refine materials such as bloodstones. One is called Fast Refinement, a spell that completes the refining process immediately. Very few classes can use it, and since it’s a high-level skill, it consumes skill points.
The one I just used is the second kind. This spell takes a very long time to take effect.
It depends on the quantity and quality of the material, but with bloodstones, it will probably take around three months to complete the refining process.
This slow effect would normally be a disadvantage, but right now it was the opposite. For the next three months, these bloodstones will be ineffective. Their appearance doesn’t change, so there’s little chance of them finding out that I messed with them.
It’s easy to find out if someone’s used sabotaging spells. That’s why in this case, the delayed effect will work in our favor.
The problem is that after three months, the refining will be finished and the enemy will have more effective bloodstones, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Cardinal Georgis would have lost his territory by then.
I don’t know what will happen to the territory after the Cardinal is defeated, but I might pull some strings to get a hold of the refined bloodstones.
And so I left Cardinal Georgis’ territory. In the end, he didn’t find me.