I Became The Academy’s Blind Swordsman - Chapter 172: Cage (1)
Chapter 172: Cage (1)
“I will fetch Miss Aizel.”
Zetto has been visiting Edward since the morning.
At his words, Edward, who had been leisurely sipping his coffee, turned his head.
“It’s almost time to travel…I’ll have to take her with me before I leave for the East. It should be an interesting trip.”
“I’ll be back in time.”
“The unauthorized departure of a cadet is a matter for which an instructor should be responsible… It does seem a bit odd that a blind man would go looking for someone, but…Well, it’s Cadet Zetto, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.”
Edward opens a drawer in his desk and pulls out a piece of paper, holding it out to Zetto.
“This is your access permit. It’s not only a permit, but it’s enchanted to give the Academy your location. You’ll want to keep it on your person.”
Zetto accepted the access permit and tucked it into his pocket.
Then he turned and was about to leave the instructor’s office.
Edward’s last question made Zetto turn his head slowly.
“…I wonder if there’s a reason you need a permit this time.”
Edward was curious as to why they were getting permission to leave the academy this time, even though they usually did so without saying a word.
“I don’t know, I just thought that if I seemed to be taking too long, you might want to come look for me, in case I got lost.”
Edward raised a brow at Zetto’s joke.
Zetto bowed and walked out of the room.
Sitting back in his chair, Edward frowned.
For some reason, he didn’t have a good feeling about this.
“Why? What’s going on?”
Reina, sitting next to him, nudged him out of his thoughts.
“It’s nothing…He said he’s going to go out.”
“Going out? Hmm, he’s not going to get into an accident, is he?”
“I’m afraid he might get into an accident.”
“…Then shouldn’t you stop him?”
“I’m just saying that it feels like it, and as long as it’s not a grave accident…”
Edward trailed off, then muttered, “…it’ll be fine.”
‘You can’t stop it anyway, can you? Cadet Zetto.’
Edward had a hunch.
This is a huge current, and no matter what he does, he can’t stop it.
And just like that, Zetto was out the front door of the Academy.
There were two people watching from a distance, a young woman and an old man with a long beard.
It was an unlikely pairing, to say the least and no one would ever figure out their connection to the “hero and sage” who had once set out to slay the demons.
“The Tears of the Dead…”
The old man lamented.
“He must be a madman.”
The young woman added.
‘A Tear of the Dead is a very dangerous thing.’
Even he, with his status as a trustee, can be of no help since the moment they were discovered in his possession, he would face a massive investigation.
It was a matter that could land you in jail for failing to report.
They would ask one question.
Who is the bearer of this dangerous object, human or demon?
In a world where demons were working around the clock, it was not natural to carry an object that could only have been made by a demon.
“Isn’t that why you like it better? Madmen change the world. Isn’t that what you used to say?”
“It’s not a phrase I use in times like these…He’s pretty good at putting that stuff in his body, by the way.”
“He doesn’t seem to be offended at all, which is what a human should be, and it’s not like he’s a demon.”
Zetto wasn’t feeling the discomfort they felt as soon as the words Tears of the Dead left their mouths.
No wonder he could drive that thing into his heart.
“Well, he’s obviously human, but…”
The old man rubbing his chin nodded.
They had seen many demons, so they could say for sure.
In response, the young woman who hadn’t taken her eyes off the carriage Zetto was riding in spoke up.
“…I see. Since it’s just you and me, you should be able to understand. If it were any other human, they’d be offended.”
“By the way, are you on to something with this whole ‘going there’ thing? It’s been more than a decade since the massacre, and there shouldn’t be anything left of it…”
“Maybe there is. Don’t you wonder? The future as the Ludwig clan would have seen it.”
The old man, Hubert the Sage, stared into the face of the reincarnated hero.
The body had changed, but the soul remained the same.
The hero’s eyes were the same, curious and eager for adventure.
“He had a job for me. I’ll be right there.”
Rei said as he climbed into the carriage that Hubert had summoned.
Hubert climbed into the carriage as well and spoke.
“Did you say the First Prince of Terracia?”
“Do you know anything about him?”
“Hmm…He’s your average power-hungry, old-fashioned bastard. Can you just stop him from showing up?”
“Well, politics has always been my thing, so leave it to me.”
Rei nods faintly and turns to look out the window.
Zetto, coincidentally, has set out to save the last survivor of the Ludwig clan.
“I wonder if the future he sees is the same as the future the Ludwig clan sees.
Hero Rei wanted to know the secret hidden in the great maelstrom that is about to swirl.
Zetto left the academy and went straight to the alchemical guild Midas.
It was for ‘preparations’ for the miracle.
After Zetto explained what he needed and waited in the room for a while, an alchemist from Midas entered the room.
Seated across from him, the alchemist set two vials down on the desk.
“Here,” he says, “is what you ordered. It’s called The Last Trick.”
The vials each contained what appeared to be pills.
“…A final trick. You’re not wrong.”
“Haha, thanks for the compliment. Chew them and the effect will be immediate – you’ll look and feel like a corpse – no heartbeat, no breathing – just remember, they’re not meant to be used in ‘combat’.”
The alchemist said, glancing at the sword at Zetto’s waist.
When Zetto shakes his head, he fills in the blanks.
“I can’t really move my body. Have you ever heard of a basilisk?”
“Basilisk… The famous petrifying beast…”
“Yes, that’s right, this is a medicine made from the tears of that basilisk. It’s more of a poison than a medicine, as it literally hardens the inside of your body.”
“Hmm…I see why it’s so expensive.”
“I guess ingredients are ingredients…Anyway, if you mess up something, you could end up as a real corpse, so you’ll need to chew the antidote if you want to get up before you die.”
Pretending to be a corpse and then turning into one wasn’t exactly the best way to sell a product, but the alchemist was honest enough to lay out the caveats and downsides.
“Don’t worry though, you’ll be able to move your jaw, I can guarantee it, I’ve tested it on my own body.”
“…You don’t spare your body.”
“Haha, all alchemists are like that. Anyway, the antidote takes a while to get your body moving, unlike the poison, which spreads in an instant.”
The alchemist smirked and tapped the cap on the bottle.
“I’ve already drawn a line through the lid of one of the vials for you. The side with the comb is the antidote, the side without is the poison.”
Mimicking the alchemist’s words, Zetto put his hand to the bottle and caressed the lid.
“Can it fool a saint?”
The alchemist taps his fingers on his desk in response to Zetto’s question.
The corner of his mouth raised, the alchemist spoke.
“Of course. I’ve also included ingredients in my poisons that resist holy power, just in case a cleric should intervene. So…It’s more dangerous when there’s no antidote.”
Even as he spoke, the alchemist realized there was a reason this wasn’t sold.
It’s not the kind of thing that would make you scream to death if you tried it, and it’s too expensive to use as a real poison.
Zetto grinned and placed the money bag on the desk.
“That would be the perfect trick. Here’s your payment.”
Zetto then unscrewed the lids of the vials on his desk and stuck two pills into his molars.
“Poison on the left, antidote on the right. Right?”
Zetto pointed to his cheeks in order.
Said the alchemist, checking the comb on the lid.
Zetto stood up and left the room.
The alchemist who was left in the room stares at the door Zetto left through, muttering to himself.
“You’re a tough customer. What are you going to use that for…?”
He had hastily retrieved a potion from the storeroom that he had made but hadn’t expected to sell.
“Well, it’s none of my business, isn’t it?”
The alchemist smirked as he looked at the bag of money sitting on his desk. After all, he’d gotten his money’s worth.
How many times had he been scolded by the Guild Leader when he was just making potions?
“How much is all this worth?”
He was gleeful as he sold off his useless inventory.
I sat dazed on the couch, lost in thought.
The sudden dissolution of the Knights of the Golden Lion surprised me and through Blanc, I learned that Zagoras had been sacked by the saint.
There was nothing that could be done about the Alliance, the Kingdom of Terracia, or the shocking revelation that the Order’s vice-captain was a demon, so the Order was disbanded.
Despite all the regressions, Zagoras was never, not once, slain by the saint.
It was a variable.
A variable that helped me, but the question was who caused it.
It wasn’t without merit.
This regression had changed quite a few things, but in the end, the biggest variable was one person.
I already knew there was some connection between him and the saint.
But I had a question.
How he’d gotten her to help him.
How he’d gotten to the point of realizing that Delion, or Zagoras, was a demon…
There were many possibilities.
The one that seemed most likely was.
What if he’d done the regression with me?
What if Zetto was a regressor like me?
It was a far-fetched idea, but it didn’t quite explain what had happened.
But I didn’t believe it.
Regressors aren’t that common.
I didn’t understand how Zetto could be a regressor, let alone me.
I quickly traveled to my “hometown” to see if there was a key to solving this mystery.
The place where I was born and where the Ludwig clan had been was also the place where they chose to die.
Throughout my regression, I had never set foot there.
I was afraid that no trace of their deaths remained, or at least that I would revisit them when I had gotten my revenge but Echis’ story changed my mind.
I wanted to ask them questions, too.
Why they made the choices they did, why they sacrificed their lives to imprint the regression ability on me.
I knew that if I went back there, I would find the answers.
Maybe even the answer to Zetto’s identity.
“…Aizel, when did you get back?”
The voice of the woman who opened the door snapped me out of my thoughts.
It was Blanc.
Well, this was her house.
I’d been indebted to her for a while after I left the Academy.
She opened the door and took off her coat, hanging it on a chair in the center of the room.
I looked at her and opened my mouth.
“It’s been a while.”
“So…Did you find anything?”
The village of the Ludwig clan was a small village, hidden in the forest by a covenant that prevented anyone from finding it and contrary to my expectations, there was nothing there.
It was an eerily quiet village, with not a soul in sight and everything was intact, as if it hadn’t been touched in years.
There was not a single broken house to be seen, not even a trace of a massacre, but rather a remnant of their former lives.
Eventually, I reached the ‘altar’ deep within the village.
It was the same place I’d seen before, when my memories were triggered by Echis.
The memories came flooding back.
In my mind’s eye, every member of my clan was holding a short dagger, with me in the center of the altar.
‘With this, the shackles shall be broken.’
Those were the words they spoke as they chose self-destruction but I couldn’t tell what kind of shackle they were referring to.
An examination of the area around the altar revealed a giant, unidentifiable ‘door’… but I couldn’t open it.
I realized that it was magically treated to prevent entry, but my mana could not open it.
It was a door that even the last survivor of the clan was not allowed to open.
Who, then, was behind this door?
Frustrated, I had no choice but to turn back since I couldn’t waste any more time.
Blanc catches my eye and speaks cautiously.
“More than that…I have news.”
“Good news or bad news?”
“I should say good news. He came looking for the Black Hand.”
“Yep. He hasn’t met with me, but… From the way he described it, it sounds like he’s looking for you.”
“So they gave him information?”
“No, they didn’t. The guild that dealt with him in the first place doesn’t know your location.”
He’s looking for me after all.
Again, around this time.
“So what are you going to do, just keep running around like this?”
Blanc asked, casually sitting next to me on the couch.
I had to stop Zetto from trying to save me.
I didn’t want to relive his death again and I still hadn’t dealt with his curse.
I must stop him from going into battle at all costs but it was likely that he would find me.
He would find me somehow, just like he did back then.
“Where is Zetto now?”
“… He’s staying at an inn not far from here. Do you want to meet him?”
“…I suppose so.”
I’ve been outmatched by Zetto before, but this time I’ll make the first move.
Fighting together is not an option since I’m not strong enough to protect Zetto in the middle of a fight.
I don’t have the option of letting him fight alone either.
This battle is mine alone.
I will tie the knot at my own risk.
To do so, I need a cage to trap the blind bird that flies into my arms, unaware of the danger.
Come with me Zetto. To the cage I have prepared for you.