Chapter 121 – When to Crouch (1)
The Great Mage Returns after 4000 Years – Chapter 121 – When to Crouch (1)
Editors: Ana_Banana, Yahiko
After Cairo left, silence fell upon the room for a moment as Fiore and Frey both took time to organise their thoughts.
‘I managed to bring in the Third Princess.’
Their brief conversation showed him how deeply she admired her teacher.
So now that Cairo had given her the task of helping Frey, she would certainly do so to the best of her ability.
Of course, it would have been best if he had been able to get the Third Princess completely on his side, but Frey knew it was unrealistic to believe he could sway the princess in just one meeting.
Just with her promise to help him, he had already achieved his goal.
After he finished organizing his thoughts, Frey said to Fiore.
“There are three favors I’d like to ask of Your Majesty.”
“Please go ahead.”
“First off, please hold off on your engagement to me.”
Fiore’s cheeks reddened considerably, and she coughed a few times to calm herself.
Without making further mention of this, Frey continued speaking.
“But don’t directly cancel it.”
“You want me to walk on a tightrope? That’s fine. I’m confident in doing at least that much.”
After all, she was a woman who had established herself in the Imperial family by walking on a tightrope.
There was nothing to worry about.
“You need to delay the sale of Harkon for a while. It would be best if you could give a suitable excuse so Leita doesn’t become suspicious.”
Fiore furrowed her brows slightly.
Delaying sales wasn’t the hard part. After all, she was the one who held the full sales rights for Harkon, so the deal with the Blake family could be ended with a simple stamp.
But it was obvious that Leita would become suspicious if the deal was to just end suddenly.
Fiore knew how perceptive she was.
Last time, she succeeded in taking the initiative due to her sudden visit, but that didn’t mean Leita was a pushover.
She had to delay the sale of Harkon as much as possible while preventing that woman from noticing.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounded.
Well, for anyone other than Fiore, at least.
She smiled confidently.
“Alright. What’s your last request?”
It would take some time to explain.
Frey slowly began telling Fiore his third request, and her expression steadily became harder and harder.
“…it’s not difficult. If the plates are made as Frey said.” (TL: I used ‘plate’ here but this might change since the word ‘판’ has a couple meanings and there wasn’t much context)
Fiore was dumbfounded for a moment.
She looked at Frey like there was something she wanted to say, but Frey deliberately avoided her gaze and looked out the window.
The sun was beginning to rise.
This was proof that they had been talking for much longer than expected.
Frey got up from his seat.
“Then I’ll take my leave.”
“Ah… yes. Have a safe trip.”
Fiore, who also didn’t realise the time, spoke up.
Frey politely bowed his head before leaving the room.
Veronica, who had been silently observing them from the side, finally spoke.
“That third request. Are you really going to fulfill it?”
“If the plate just needs to be made as he said, I’ll do it. It’s not difficult.”
“Your Highness should know well just how ridiculous this request is.”
Veronica was right.
She knew it well.
“…but he doesn’t appear to be someone who would do something for no reason.”
That was the problem.
She felt that Frey’s words would really become a reality.
* * *
Frey returned to the mansion.
He had stayed out all night, but he didn’t feel very tired.
He took off his robe and removed the illusion magic. Then he meditated for a while until the sun came up.
When Frey opened his eyes once more, all signs of tiredness had disappeared completely.
There was some time until breakfast, so Frey got up and went to Heinz’s room.
It looked like he had just woken up, but he still gave Frey a curious look.
“It seems you had a really good time with the princess.”
“I didn’t come here to talk about that.”
Frey shook his head as he spoke.
“Since you came at a time like this, there must be something you want. Tell me.”
Frey said what he wanted, and Heinz agreed.
And when it was time for breakfast, all the members of the Blake family, except Mischael, were gathered.
After the light meal, Frey spoke out.
“I will accept Mother’s decision.”
Leita was slightly surprised by his words.
Frey glanced at Isaka.
Isaka’s expression had become a bit stiff.
Frey had purposely responded to Leita’s suggestion in such an open manner because he wanted to see Isaka’s reaction.
He wanted to know how he felt about this.
And looking at his stiff expression, Frey was able to make a guess as to how he was feeling.
“Good thinking. You are now a proud member of the Blake family.”
“It is an honour.”
“Teach Frey about the secrets of the Blake family. And Frey, when you’ve learned everything, come down to the basement.”
Frey then followed Heinz back to his room.
The door closed quietly.
There wasn’t much for the two of them to talk about, which was understandable since Frey knew just as much as Heinz did.
After a moment of silence, Heinz finally spoke.
“I did what you asked.”
“That was fast.”
“…she’ll be here by the day after tomorrow. Although, that’s under the assumption that she would even listen to your request.”
“She doesn’t have much of a choice.”
“I don’t know why you’re so confident. That person is one of the top executives in the Circle. Plus, Sheryl Roland is known for her pride.”
Frey’s request to Heinz was to ask the Phisfounder Armlet’s Circle Rounder, Sheryl Roland, to come to the Blake family mansion.
Soon, the mansion would become a battlefield.
And he knew what would happen on that battlefield.
With Sheryl’s assistance, they would easily be able to deal with almost any situation.
But Heinz didn’t believe that Sheryl would listen to Frey’s request.
It was natural that he’d think so, as he didn’t know that Sheryl had already submitted to Frey.
“…stay here for an hour, then go down to the basement. What you see there might be a bit too much to handle, but I think you can keep yourself together.”
Heinz’s expression, which had been blank from the start, suddenly became serious.
He felt conflicted.
This was proven by the fact that he was no longer able to control his emotions.
But in the end, he couldn’t say what he wanted to.
Heinz bowed his head and sighed.
“No. It’s nothing.”
About an hour passed before Frey left Heinz’s room and headed to the basement.
Leita was waiting for him at the entrance.
“Are you finished talking?”
She gave him a mysterious smile.
“Alright. I wonder how you feel, now that you know the truth of the world.”
“…honestly, it hasn’t sunken in yet.”
Proper acting had never been more important.
Leita nodded as she saw Frey’s conflicted expression.
“That’s natural. It’ll be confusing at first, but don’t worry. I will slowly tell you your role.”
Leita turned around with those words, exposing her back to him.
But Frey didn’t dare lower his guard.
‘An Apocalypse’s Apostle.’
Until now, the only Apocalypse’s Apostle that he had seen the true power of was Snow, Riki’s Apostle.
Oydin didn’t count because he was only half an Apostle.
Snow’s combat power was simply amazing. This was something Frey had noticed during their fight with the Bone Dragon.
She had shown an almost overwhelming amount of power during the fight with the Bone Dragon without even using the power of the sword.
‘Snow hasn’t been Riki’s Apostle for a long time.’
As time went on, the divine power an Apostle could utilise steadily grew stronger.
And since he didn’t know how long it had been since Leita had become an Apostle, letting his guard down was tantamount to suicide.
They walked down the stairs leading to the basement.
The fact that the Blake family had a basement was something he had learned while searching the mansion with Ghost. However, he hadn’t gone too close.
This was because the security magic that had been deployed around this place was many times stronger than anywhere else on the property.
If Frey had approached it carelessly, he would have triggered the numerous alarm spells, which would have alerted the entire house.
They reached the bottom of the stairs.
A heavy iron door stood in their way.
Leitra placed her hand on it, and after a moment, it began opening with a heavy sound.
A moment later, the iron door was fully opened.
And Frey’s expression became stiff at the sight that unfolded before his eyes.
It was a prison.
A huge prison.
The rotten smell of blood and decomposing corpses filled his nose as soon as the door opened.
There were many kinds of people and monsters of all ages and sexes imprisoned behind the bars.
All types of living things seemed to have been locked up in this place.
Above all, none of them were in good condition.
All of them had serious injuries on various parts of their bodies, and those who appeared to be mostly intact were drooling heavily and had dull eyes as if they had lost their minds.
Leita, who saw his reaction, turned to Frey with a small smile.
“…I’m just a little surprised.”
“Get rid of your sympathy. They’re just test subjects.”
Frey nodded as he recalled information he’d heard when investigating the Blake family in the past.
[Well. Now that I think about it, Hans did say that he saw several carriages enter the Blake family at dawn.]
[And he said he heard the cries of humans from within them.]
It was only at that moment that he realised what was in those carriages.
There wasn’t even a hint of compassion in Leita’s eyes as she looked at the test subjects.
There was only a cold gleam similar to a farmer looking at livestock.
Leita turned to Frey once more.
“Are you disappointed?”
“I wonder what you think about this scene.”
He thought it was disgusting and cruel.
Frey wanted nothing more than to kill this woman in front of him who was so happily doing the Demigods’ bidding.
But he didn’t show it.
He couldn’t show it.
Now was the time to crouch.
Frey controlled his emotions so that they wouldn’t show and bowed his head to her slightly.
“I don’t think anything.”
“Huhu. I’m happy you can say that.”
Leita smiled brightly and stroked his hair.
It was an obvious gesture of a mother praising her son.
He had thought it before, but this time, it was different.
This thought had come from the residual feelings left over from ‘Frey’.
The introverted and mistreated ‘loser’, Frey Blake, felt disgust towards his ‘mother’.
“Let’s go deeper.”
Frey followed Leita.
He knew the basement was large, but in the end, he had still underestimated the sheer size of it.
After leaving the prison, they came to a room that appeared to be a laboratory.
It was larger than the prison, and quite a few people could be seen wandering around.
These people, many of whom were mixing ingredients in glass bottles, appeared to be Wizards.
They didn’t pay much attention to Leita’s arrival, and they only seemed focused on the result of their various experiments.
“Who are they?”
“These are the Wizards and Alchemists who belong to the Blake Family.”
“But they look a bit strange…”
“Well, of course. After all, we took away their ability to think. They’re better than Golems, but they are still a type of puppet. Although this decreased our efficiency, isn’t this the safest option?”
“You have to keep in mind. When running a place like this, it would be too troublesome if they had a sense of self.”
“…I’ll keep it in mind.”
Soon, they left the laboratory and were approaching the end of the basement.
And Frey’s expression became progressively stiffer.
At first, he thought that the divine power he was sensing was because of their experiments, but it wasn’t.
The divine power he felt became stronger and stronger the further they went, and it reached to the point where it was not an amount that could be released by anything other than a Demigod.
There was a Demigod in the basement.
And there was only one Demigod who would be in the Blake family mansion.
She was at the end of this path.
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