Mob: Chapter 30 – Beyond self-satisfaction
First published on Ainushi
While I was frozen on the spot, Suou moved to the closest man in black collapsed on the floor. He crouched beside him and searched him. After a while, he looked up at me.
[They can’t be saved. Look at this]
I went forward and looked at where his finger was pointing at. Some kind of magic circle was among the bloody lumps that could barely be made out to be human..
When I asked him, Suou scrunched up his eyebrows and opened his mouth, as if he detested it.
[This is magic that is currently forbidden in any country. It is one of the so-called forbidden arts. Moreover, this magic circle was cast over and over again.
Brainwashing is invoked in a consistent form; their unclear remarks when we confronted them on the street must be because of this. I don’t know when were they brainwashed, but after a physical breakdown from the inside of their body and psychological breakdown as well, up till when everything ends, this magic circle was permanently secured so it would not lose effect. When they die, the effect ceases.It was even fixed such that the magic power won’t leave any traces of the magic circle and caster. All that is left will be pieces of human meat.
Although the possibility is extremely low, even if they were to have survived, their mind would have been broken and you won’t be able to say that they are humans anymore.]
Suou traced the magic circle as he started to ponder, so I didn’t say anything.
There was too much information, so much that my understanding couldn’t catch up with the words and so I was unable to say anything.
Since the attack was from the inside of the body, my protection magic wouldn’t work. After all, protection magic only works against attacks from the outside. I didn’t even think they would be attacked from the inside.
[Is this?…But, this is strange. The magic circle is working. It caused physical and psychological breakdown. It was working normally, but he didn’t die. Usually, you would die from just one invocation. Hm? He is recovering a little? But even if he recovers, he will breakdown once again…then it repeats. It is a living hell. It is worse than any torture. It would be easier to just die.]
I gulped at Suou’s words. If what Suou said is true, then it is probably because of my magic. If I didn’t cast protection magic on them, then they would have died already. It’s because of me.
I couldn’t breathe. I gritted my teeth and clenched my hands. My eyes started to get hot.
[I, I…I, didn’t want this to happen!]
I shouted unintentionally. If I didn’t, the urge coursing through my body could have blown everything away.
[Hey? What’s wrong?]
Suou was staring at me with wide eyes but I couldn’t afford to care about it.
[I cast protection magic on them for my own convenience.
But it wasn’t for something like this. I didn’t wish for something like this. It was supposed to protect their lives! Not play around with their lives, this!!
No one has the right to take a person’s life. There shouldn’t be any lives that are just fine to take]
It may be just naïve words–a naïve way of thinking–but it is what I truly believe.
I know it’s only naïve thinking and a pipe dream, and also that it isn’t the way this world functions. But that is why, if you do take a life, you must live on bearing the responsibility of it. You must have the resolution for that. There is no way something like this is fine. Certainly, the reason I wanted them to be alive might be the worst. But it’s not a lie that I wanted to let them live. I never thought of wanting them to die. To be alive, that’s all.
[Life isn’t something you can handle so lightly. What do they think a person’s life is! I can’t forgive such a thing!!]
I must calm down. If I make the wrong decision here, I won’t be able to take it back. That is something that definitely shouldn’t happen. I can blame myself later. Right now, there are other things I have to do.
Concentrating my mind, I cast detection magic and search magic on my surroundings to check for the presence of any enemies and the other people in the castle. There aren’t any enemies, nor were there any soldiers guarding near here. I guess that they had already cleared out all the people. Well, that’s convenient. Like this, I cast a barrier so nothing would escape.
[Suou, stand aside]
Telling Suou thus, I put my knees and hands on the floor. Breathing in deeply and deeply, I took in all of the mana essence that I could. That’s right, I don’t plan to let these guys die. I didn’t have much confidence on recovering their minds, but I still want these guys to live.
[Hey! This is the royal castle. Moreover, it’s the prison. You can’t use magic! You at least know that, don’t you?]
Suou warned me as he held my shoulder, but I ignored him. If it’s magic, I can use it forever.
I focused on my nerves and invoked search magic. The magic possession over the 17 people were nicely balanced and divided into 3 rooms; that means I can grasp the situation. I confirmed the life and death of 40 people. Although it was just barely, everyone was still breathing. So, once again I put in my fighting spirit.
Next is to grasp the magic power of the forbidden arts. Since the magic circle disappears if I come in contact with it, I won’t touch it. Although it may be better to just touch it so it disappears quickly, but I won’t do that.That was my ego.
After sensing the magic power of the 40 people, I surrounded it all with my mana essence and brought it over. For a moment, I sensed an uncomfortable feeling but I didn’t have the time to worry about it. I could feel the effect of the magic circle disappearing once the magic power came out, and at the same time, I secured the forbidden magic circle to their bodies. This will serve as evidence as to what happened to the men in black. Leaving the magic power I gathered aside, I then concentrated on the recovery of the 40 people.
First is to heal the body. Concentrating more than ever, I let the mana essence I had accumulated pass through my hands to the ground of the three rooms and to the origin of the mana essence of the 17 people.
[I pray for the healing of injured and battered bodies…Immense Restoration!]
A huge white magic circle shone brightly as it appeared on the ground around me. In sync with the light, the mana essence also started to move intensely, producing wind. It caused my clothes to flutter strongly, but I ignored it and let more magic power flow.
It activated safely, but this is not the end. I took in mana essence once more but this time I faced upwards.
[May their scattered mind return to them so that they are themselves again…Fortitude Reverse!]
A huge magic circle appeared above my head again, shining bright blue . It showed it effect by changing from blue to green . Mana essence and wind blew about intensely as I transmitted my wishes into the power of the two magic circles.
The shining lights, along with the wind, settled down after a moment. Five perfectly healthy-looking men lay inside the room when the light disappeared. They were definitely not lumps of meat.
Gently touching the body of the nearest person, I checked his heartbeat. When I felt the solid beat of his heart, I was filled with emotion. However, I wasn’t relieved yet…lightly, I tried to shake the man awake. Supressing my impatience I watched over their state. A little while later, the man opened his eyes and met mine. He was still in a daze, but I was relieved that his eyes were clear.
[You, can you tell me name?]
As I asked him with my trembling voice. A small voice replied, 「Toruto」. Unconsciously, I started to cry. You are yourself if you can say still your name. He wouldn’t remember detailed memories, but his soul has a heart.
Carefully casting sleeping magic, I made him fall asleep again. Standing up, I looked around the room. The inside of the room was still bloody, but the collapsed men were all alive. I breathed a sigh of relief. I used search magic to check on the two other rooms, but it seemed like it is all fine. At the same time, I breathe out as I cancelled the magic on the 17 people. It will be alright now, though I felt strange since the magic of misfortune was connected to their lives.
[I don’t know what will happen from now, on but I hope you will protect your own life]
It was not over yet. I moved the mass of magic power in front of me by manipulating the mana essence. I don’t ever want to touch it.
Closing my eyes, I concentrated. Making the mana essence become like a thin crystal, I carefully made sure that I didn’t miss any magic power and it doesn’t vanish.
When I opened my eyes to the change of the flow of mana essence, I noticed a dark object floating inside the transparent crystal. Unknowingly, I breathed out a sigh.
[I can sense magic power. I can deduce who the castor is with this. The rest is up to the country]
When I gently placed the crystal on the floor, something suddenly alerted my detection magic. I didn’t detect any hostile intentions, so I assumed that it wasn’t an enemy. It appeared that a soldier is heading towards this way.
Now, the problem is, how do I escape from this place? I sighed involuntarily. I reluctantly used teleport on two people to come here. But I won’t use it to go back. I succeeded by pure luck when I came, but this time, I didn’t have the coordinates of mana essence, so there’s only a slim chance that it would succeed. Thus, I won’t be able to teleport with Suou.
The only way to escape from here is through the hidden passage, but the location of the hidden passage is in the direction where the soldiers are heading to right now. I also sensed magic power around the vicinity of the hidden passage. After investigating in detail, I found out that the hidden passage was sealed. This is probably also the work of the mastermind. I could feel that the magic power there is the same as the one in the crystal. So malicious!! If I had time, I would have detected their location! That’s the country’s job so I won’t lend a hand, though.
Yup, once I start helping anyone I find myself in deep trouble. I will definitely get in big trouble, so no matter how irritating it is, I’ll hold it in. Doing something half-heartedly is bad. I don’t want help halfway then have to take responsibility for it.More than anything, the most important thing to me is myself.
[Suou, you can easily run away by yourself, right?]
I looked at Suou. He was confused, but he still nodded his head.
[I investigated with search magic but the hidden passage you are probably thinking of can’t be used because of the soldiers. Moreover, the guy who engraved the magic circle has sealed the hidden passage.
I will make a hole here, so run away. You will probably be able to escape outside the castle while I buy some time.]
Quietly, I approached the back wall of the prison and placed my hand on it. Then, when I tried to accumulate mana essence, something pulled my right arm strongly. I looked back and saw Suou standing there biting his lips.
[What is it? There’s no time. Let me go]
As I spoke he held my arm even tighter. When I called out to him, he started to groan.
[It’s fine if I hold them back, isn’t it? Rather, isn’t it easier for you to escape instead of me?]
[Ahh? I can’t just leave you here and escape by myself. Although you followed me into the teleport of your own accord…wait, it’s because you arbitrarily followed me into the teleport that things became worse! Well, even if I complain now it’s no use. Ahh~ So you want me to make you hold them back for me whereas you got yourself involved in my selfish self-satisfaction…what kind of person do you think I am?]
Shaking off his hand on my arm, I glared at him while placing my left hand on the wall. But my hand on the wall was pulled away and my back is pushed against the wall. Moreover, he was gazing at me from above. This…if he puts his hand on the wall wouldn’t this be a kabedon? What on earth! Ahh~ he really is a troublesome guy!!
[Don’t try to act brave, kid. Using your words, do I look like the kind of guy who makes a kid hold them back for me while I escape by myself?]
Nn~ yes, you do. Objectively, you look like an extremely bad person. But, it can’t be helped this time.
[Yes you do? Well, you look like a heinous guy, but don’t worry, no one has seen it yet]
[You keep saying that I am an idiot, but you are also a fool. I won’t run away by myself leaving you here. If we are going to escape then we’ll escape together. If we can’t escape, then we’ll get caught together]
Ehh! What is with this person!? Moreover, the soldiers are already so close by!!
[Don’t say stupid things and run away! The soldiers are almost here!! A hole is easy to make! I beg you, just run away. I’ll also escape when I can!]
[Then, isn’t it fine if we run away together? That…can’t you use the teleport like you used before?]
[Ahh? I used teleport on people for the first time today. I’m relieved that it actually succeeded. On top of that, when we came here, I used the magic I cast on the guys here as the coordinates. There isn’t any coordinates that I can use to return. If I have to use teleport, I would have to imagine my room and I won’t be able to guarantee that our lives will be safe]
[If it was your first time using it when we came here, then isn’t it the same? Ahh, is that why you tried to teleport here by yourself? Well, once or twice, there’s no difference. Just try it. Hurry up and do it. The soldiers will be here soon. They will get here after another two or three more corners you know?]
I want to punch this person! And I did! I punched him in his stomach once, then started to concentrate. Suou wase choking but who cares!! Accumulating mana essence ,I held onto Suou’s arm. Similar to the way we came, I wrapped our bodies with mana essence and imagined my room very hard. So that we won’t become pieces of meat….
The thin light of the mana essence gradually started to shine brighter.
Bang! The door opened at the same time the teleport activated.