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Chapter 110

Bump, bump. The sound of footsteps echoed along the walls of the underground waterway.

Ivan casually surveyed the familiar terrain of the underground waterway and asked, “Is it possible to handle it within the vacation period?”


“I asked if it’s a mission that can be completed within about a month and a half.”

Ivan sighed, looking puzzled at Enrique, who shrugged. Despite her connections as a former member of the hero party, Enrique was a legitimate professor of knightly studies.

But disappearing during the semester under the pretext of a sudden mission and remaining missing until the vacation was unacceptable. If she hadn’t been from the hero party, she would have been expelled without question.

It was a reckless attitude devoid of professional responsibility. Ivan, being a university gardener, had an obligation to report to work during the semester. And university gardeners didn’t even receive a salary.

“If it’s about distance, then there’s no problem, but if it’s about the mission itself, it’s up to us now.”

“Distance is more important. It would take easily a month by foot to the Sky Mountains… to Andgrind.”

“If we go on foot, sure, but wouldn’t three or four days be enough?”

To the dwarven mountains at the northern front, Andgrind, only in three or four days.

Did that imply they were planning an aerial assault? Ivan frowned, looking at Enrique. She chuckled ominously.

Ivan was a sensible person, so he didn’t indulge the ramblings of a nearly 200-year-old elder.

“Not amusing. Odd, isn’t it, my apprentice? I’ve always taught you never to forget leisure and humor, yet why did my best pupil end up with such a temperament?”

“I learned well.”

“You’ve learned to quip well. Indeed.”

She grumbled as she turned a corner in the waterway. For a moment, Ivan furrowed his brow. He sensed something.

Five, perhaps? Along with the sound of machinery. A smell that shouldn’t be in the underground waterway.

The smell of oil and gunpowder. Characteristic of the military.

“Well, let’s reveal the answer!”

Enrique laughed heartily and waved her hand. Beyond the corner of the waterway, soldiers armed with weapons were guarding a certain ‘door.’

An incongruously stern iron door stood there. If it weren’t for Enrique’s presence, one might have thought it was a dungeon entrance.

“A door.”

“Last time, those dwarf fellows invaded this place. It was just a rift then, but we couldn’t leave it as it was. Who knows what else might come in. So, we did a little reinforcement.”

Enrique waved to the soldiers, who were sending disciplined salutes.

“Is it okay to go in?”

Instead of answering, the soldiers quietly opened the door. Judging by their training, they were likely from the Northern Military Command. Ivan frowned and stepped through the open door.

And then, he stopped abruptly.

– Clang, whoosh…
– Clang, clang, clang.

“Ta-da! Dwarven armored railcar!”

“Are you serious? They connected the dwarven railway from Freechankaya to Andgrind?”

“Hehe, what’s wrong with that? If things go well, this will be our trade route. If things don’t go well, it’ll be our marching route.”

Enrique chuckled with a sinister gleam in her eyes. At that moment, a low voice murmured from atop the railcar.

“You should consider the listening ears of dwarves.”

“Oh, I should introduce him too. That lad over there is Tirbil Ailbaria! Exchange greetings.”

“Is he the ‘reinforcements’? The Shadow Blades insisted on bringing essential reinforcements for this mission.”

Behind the railcar window, a dwarf raised his head and narrowed his eyes at him.

After scrutinizing Ivan’s face for a while, the dwarf smirked and asked,

“Seems like you came alone?”

“It’s enough.”

“… Confidence is admirable, but do you realize the stakes involved here? If it weren’t for the reputation of the Shadow Blades, this could have been taken as an insult.”

“An insult, you say.”

Ivan chuckled and climbed onto the vehicle. It was a typical, sturdy structure of dwarven machinery. These fellows knew the aesthetics of steel well, and Ivan secretly had a fondness for dwarven equipment.

Sitting inside the railcar, Ivan turned his head towards the dwarf.

The dwarf made a grunt of acknowledgment and began manipulating the controls. Soon, with a creak, the vehicle started, vibrating the entire track as it set off.

Ivan glanced at the passing scenery through the tunnel, pondering.

An insult.

At least the dwarves didn’t need to feel any further insult from him. He had already filled enough pages during that time.

Reflecting once more.

The forces of the United Kingdom most often and violently encountered on the battlefield with the Dwarven Engineering Corps are Cleanup Units.

And among the Cleanup Units, the most outstanding record of combat effectiveness was held by the Strike Force led by Ivan.

So, the dwarves should have been proud instead.

At this moment, in this era, the most effective means against the dwarves, at the end of the war, were heading to support their civil war.

The Cleanup Units were on their way.

Ivan Petrovich had been, from then till now, his own self, his own ‘unit’ of annihilation.


What’s the advantage when a vampire and an Cleanup Unit agent travel together?

They don’t need meal breaks. (No, not that.)

Ivan could sustain himself with nutrition bars, while Enrique could subsist on blood packs. And even without blood packs, if Ivan had enough nutrition bars, he could assist with blood replenishment.

“And Lucia?”

“She is a guarantee.”

Enrique responded nonchalantly. Ivan nodded silently. Well, a guarantor (hostage) was indeed needed.

A former member of the hero party, and one from the fiercely war-torn Krasilov, leaving to call for reinforcements from their homeland.

Considering the possibility that the returning reinforcements might immediately turn into occupying forces, the dwarves would need a guarantee from their perspective.

Ivan pondered tirelessly. Being a guarantee in the midst of enemy territory was a favorable position for gathering information. It would be good training for Enrique’s apprentice.

“Doing some training on the side, huh.”

Enrique understood Ivan’s gaze and smiled affirmatively. Before being colleagues, they were in a mentor-disciple relationship, and even before the hero party, they were partners who operated on the same field.

Moreover, Enrique had been a vampire spy active among humans for over one hundred years. Whenever Ivan saw his elder’s wisdom, he couldn’t help but realize.

Why do elves never mature even as they age? Ivan thought of Veolgrin and Edel before shaking his head.

Clang, clang.

The railcar raced along the track at an incredible speed, making human railways seem laughable. Despite the absence of a ceiling, allowing the wind to howl inside the vehicle, the two occupants could tolerate the wind as if it were a gentle breeze of spring.

As the conversation lapsed again, Ivan fell into thought, gazing at the tracks.

The magical lamps gradually embedded in the tracks.

Estimating the time based on the distance between those lamps and the length of the vehicle passing by, then calculating the speed by working backward.

And up until the time of arrival. Like any well-trained agent, Ivan always counted time in seconds, so he could estimate the time zone based on Freechankaya’s reference.

With each change in the railcar’s trajectory, he mentally unfurled a map of the Northern Front, retracing the route. The location of the Northern Military Command’s garrison, the supply lines when using this track as a marching route, and the composition of personnel needed for the assault on Andgrind’s underground.

Passing the time with such unnecessary thoughts.

Three days since departure from Freechankaya.

Finally, the vehicle reached the terminus of the Andgrind underground railway.


“Shadow Blades have arrived?”

“Yes, comrade! Comrade Tirbil has just parked at the main interchange!”

“Hurry, let’s go see. What kind of remarkable reinforcements have they brought at such an urgent time…!”

Navelun Volfrondil, the Chief Secretary of the Secretariat of the Andgrind Council of Ministers, grumbled as he strode forward.

Surrounded by numerous dwarves, there were members of the Council of Ministers, the Secretariat, and the Policy Bureau. Among them, those who were not currently deployed were practically all present.

It was such a significant matter. Employing Enrique of the ‘Shadow Blades’ as a mercenary carried immense weight.

A rogue of the hero party. An assassin, one of the six who slew the Demon Lord. Since the demise of the Demon Lord was the most crucial reason for the demon’s defeat in the war, they were essentially the ones who ended the war.

At this point afterward, in a situation where they were cautiously navigating through changes under the watchful eyes of the United Kingdom, inviting the hero party to end the civil war could spell disaster if it became known in demon society.

If other demon warlords invaded the desolate mountains devastated by civil war? Would there be any future?

This issue had deeply divided opinions even within the Council of Ministers.

“But we have no choice but to take the risk.”

Navelun murmured as he gritted his teeth.

With the Secretary’s son kidnapped, and even the apostles of the Seven Saints implicated in the background of the civil war.

If they were to lose the civil war, there would be no future. Dwarves would become mere puppets of necromancers, the undertakers of corpses, forever thrown into an unwinnable battlefield.

If dying was inevitable anyway, wouldn’t it be better to make choices for the sake of the race, even if it meant becoming vassals of humans rather than being used as the limbs of necromancers and dying?

Krasilov could never conquer the entire territory of the Dwarven Underground Republic. Their national strength was not at that level. Therefore, even if we had to engage in somewhat unfavorable diplomacy, it would be better for our survival.

From Krasilov’s perspective, they couldn’t afford to publicly announce diplomatic relations with the dwarves internationally. There was no reason for the dwarves to willingly share numerous benefits with other countries.

Therefore, the Council of Ministers made the most rational choice at this point.

Entering into unfavorable diplomatic relations in exchange for receiving reinforcements from Shadow Blades Enrique and Krasilov’s elite troops.

Rescuing the Secretary’s son and ending the civil war.

That’s all Navelun had in mind. Everything was for the party and the people. If they were to perish, the lofty ideals of socialism would wither away between the twisted fingers of corpse sweepers.

“Hail, comrade Secretary! Welcome back!”

“Yeah, well done. What about the Shadow Blades?”

“They’re disembarking over there.”

Navelun frowned as he watched Enrique waving from the main interchange. He strode forward and looked around.

There was no sign of Krasilov’s elite troops anywhere.

There were only two humans here. After all, it was unthinkable for humans to infiltrate among the dwarves.

“Why are there no reinforcements? Does Krasilov think this situation is a joke? Are they so dimwitted that thye don’t realize that if we fall, the rabble of Abiditas will soon set their country ablaze along this railway line?”

“Whoa, calm down, dwarf.”

“How dare you call me that!”

“I’m telling you to calm down and listen. Look around, do you see anyone else with me?”

“You probably brought along one of your cronies! Yeah, you needed a spy to help with your nighttime activities, vampire?!”

Navelun pointed his trembling finger at the man beside him.

He had a somewhat fierce appearance and decent enough beard among humans, but what use was that in war?

Enrique burst into laughter upon hearing Navelun’s words.

“Spy, huh, Ivan. Not a spy… but a spy! Haha, huff…!”

“These people are serious.”

“I know! That’s what I’m saying…! When they brought me here, they weren’t so flustered, but now that they’ve brought you, they’re calling you nothing but a spy… huff, huff!”

Enrique extended her hand widely towards Navelun, whose face was turning red as if he were about to explode, and spoke.

“Let me introduce you. This is Ivan Petrovich. Ring any bells? Think carefully. The lumberjack, the executioner, ‘Little’ Ivan. What else was there? Oh right, your nickname, what was it?”

“If it’s a name known among dwarves…”

Ivan pondered for a moment. Instead of using human titles, it would be better to introduce himself with a more ominous tone.

Fortunately, there was no need to make an effort to remember. Navelun dropped the staff he was holding and took a step back.

There was a moment of silence. Amidst the dwarves who had just been charging angrily, a strange calm settled.

The sound of swallowing saliva, slightly subdued breaths, and pale faces.

In the midst of this, Navelun murmured as if lamenting.

“The Terantula… Ivan?”

Like all intelligence organizations, the Cleanup Unit was not well-known externally. Their missions and operations were not shared with ordinary armies or civilians.

Whatever struggles or tragedies had occurred within them, “humans” could not easily discern them. They were just seen as unbelievable and suspicious diseases.

But as with all intelligence organizations.

The Cleanup Unit was more famous among enemies than allies.

Especially among dwarves.

“Dead… I heard you were dead.”

The relief felt by the dwarves when Ivan’s death and the defeat of the Cleanup Unit spread through dwarf society was beyond expression.

It was to the extent that one of the songs sung to frighten young dwarves included the line, “Alone at the end of a deep tunnel, the spider comes.”

Therefore, within that vague sense of fear, Navelun muttered softly.

“So it was true…? The Tarantula can even assassinate after death?”

“What the hell is that…?”

Ivan furrowed his brow. (While Enrique burst into laughter until he ran out of breath.)

The story of someone who “assassinated” Abiditas and now stood on their side spread widely throughout Andgrun.

Citizens felt a strange sense of betrayal.

Revenge against the dwarven rebels and necromancers, the anticipation of tearing them apart, and feeling guilt for summoning the demon king with their own hands.

Without facing any suspicion or opposition, Ivan successfully entered Andgrun.

“My apprentice seems to be more popular than me! Is it because your beards look similar?”

“Enrique. You could really die, you know.”

“I’m really scared!! Truly a tarantula! Don’t stay alone at the end of the tunnel~ The tarantula comes~.”

Enrique chuckled and hummed a strange tune, then patted Ivan’s back.

* Author’s Note (Author’s Postscript): Ivan is more famous among the demons.
This was evident from the reactions of the human civilians and demon forces encountered by Ivan!
It was a part that was mentioned quite early on! I really wanted to write this scene!

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?


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