Chapter 86 – Young Detectives, Knights, and the… Servants.
Alto made the knight hold the ‘Light Spell Stone’ up to the large hole in the tower to see for himself.
The stone reacted to the residue of the curse and glowed suspiciously.
Hakuto muttered the disturbing keyword that everyone avoided anxiously.
Immediately after his words were lost into the sound of the rain, a soldier rushed towards Alto.
“Sir! As we thought, one of the party guests’ carriages is missing. We also found a dead body of a servant who seems to be the driver. We think the murderer has already escaped with the prisoners!“
It was raining heavily, due to which almost everyone was dressed in robes and hoods. Due to this, the knights seemed to have missed the suspicious men who were mixed in with the partygoers.
“We know how they escaped. But the most important thing is how they entered. Investigate immediately.“
The soldier ran off to fulfill his new mission, and Alto turned to Hakuto.
“Hakuto, follow me. I’m sure you’ve got the general idea from the report you’ve just heard, but do not go anywhere near the area of the hole. We don’t know what kind of curse was used.”
Judging from Hakuto’s expression that he did fear the curse, Alto, led by a knight, entered the tower from an alternate entrance.
The first floor of the tower housed prisoners in need of medical treatment.
The path leading to the large hole was streaked with blood.
“You wait here, Hakuto. I’ll check the bodies.“
“I’ll come too!”
“You’re not ready yet. The aftermath looks pretty bad.”
A dead body of a knight had it’s skull caved in, presumably from being hit repeatedly with a blunt object.
All of them were killed instantly.
Some had brain plasma splattered all over them, some were caved in completely from their shoulder to their chest, and some had their necks completely snapped in an unusual direction.
Even though he had fought against the Demon King, the bodies were in too miserable of a state to be seen by a young man who had not experienced the battlefield.
Besides, showing these bodies would go against the king’s intention to raise Hakuto step by step.
Alto did not speak much. He walked to the cloth-covered body that lay at a distance.
“…will be too much even for you. You are still too young, and you will be greatly stimulated by seeing such things… don’t be in a hurry. It will greatly effect your mental health if you’re young yet want to mature quick. Gradually, you will grow.”
“Yeah, that’s true…”
Hakuto appreciated the concern of Alto and the senior knight who patted him on the shoulder and encouraged him.
But it was still a little frustrating for Hakuto, and a lukewarm sensation hung over his heart.
He inspected the destroyed prison along with Alto.
“…The testimonies which the prisoners gave for the commutation of their sentences suggest that the murderer has a rather large body. Most of them testified that they could only see shadows because of the night.“
He knelt down and muttered to himself as he looked at the objects scattered around his feet.
Even Alto, who was proud of his power, was not able to see the pieces of the lock.
“…this was broken with force. A lock of this strength was shattered with sheer physical strength. There is no reaction from the spell stone. Simple power was used.”
“What kind of monstrous… strength do they need to have to break this…?”
This tower was equipped with an anti-magic system that could block magic to some extent, and attacks with magic performed in the inside of the tower were severely weakened.
Except for people like the Black Demon King, for example, whom the restrictions could not weaken.
The perpetrator could not have exhibited such power unless he had unreasonable magical power.
That is why unless he had extraordinary physical strength, he would not be able to break the lock so beautifully.
“Monstrous strength and a huge body….?”
“The royal capital has many mercenaries who boast of their strength and many who excel in physical prowess. It’s going to be hard to… find the culprit.”
“No, it won’t. I’ve already narrowed down the list to a few people.”
Alto, who said that he had almost identified the culprit, turned his gaze to the big hole.
“Sorcery is neither as complete nor as good as witchcraft. Curses usually have some negative effects on the one who is cursed, although some of them are very troublesome. At best, they can weaken the body of the victim, and the effects could be mistaken for a disease.“
Unlike a disease, it cannot be cured without a counter spell, he explained to Hakuto, adding…
Sorcery is something that implants an effect to bring disadvantage to the target. And a typical example of such an effect is the common cold, he states.
“No, but… this is…”
Hakuto looked at the large hole in front of him, through which he could see the rain pouring down outside.
He, who had only vague knowledge about curse, was simply afraid.
The reason why the knights were uncomfortable was that curses typically do not have the same result as high power magic.
“He probably used several very elaborate and complicated curses. Moreover, they are probably carving those curses into themselves (・・・・).”
The knights gasped.
A combination of multiple terrifying negative debuffs produced such a direct effect.
“I believe I can identify the culprit easily, since he is extremely big in size, boasts of high physical strength and is also a specialist in curses.“
Curses afflicted disadvantages on both the person who casted the curse and the person who was cursed. One couldn’t even imagine the negative reactions the body and mind would experience due to such an action would cause.