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The journey of Shadow and Maniac
The sun was setting, and the whole place was covered with darkness, and a small carriage lit up with a little lamp was running along the road.
Two people are sitting in the coachman’s seat, one is a girl with two conspicuous silver horns who is using one of her hand to hold the small lamp and is checking some documents on her lap with the other.
The other is a suspicious-looking person, wearing a strange mask and black cloak, and is holding the reins of the horse.
Their true identity is Mirage, the Shadow of the Four Heavenly Kings from the Demon Army and Astarte, his Deputy.
「Hey, Tart-Chan, why don’t you stop checking the documents while we’re moving? They say reading something in the dark will worsen your eyesight, moreover, this carriage is shaking a lot, so it is very difficult to sign them 」
「If I take up on your offer Mirage-Sama and not finish some of this while moving, then I will have to work in day also………………it is a very terrible suggestion. 」
Astarte curtly rejected Mirage’s suggestion.
The two had been working on the documents while taking turns on driving the carriage.
At present, several Magic seals have been marked on Mirage’s and Astarte’s desk in their office of Shadow Castle.
Mirage is repeating the process of taking the documents his subordinate’s left on the desks with Transfer Magic and then returning them to the desk once they were finished.
The subordinates in the office received the documents and put new ones on their desk again.
「I can’t say anything back when you say that…I never thought that I would be pressed to do paperwork until the time we are traveling for negotiation…..haaah. 」
「At any rate, it can be said that Mirage-Sama’s Transfer Magic is quite convenient…… No, it is very useful……..No, it is extraordinarily useful magic, so isn’t it natural to use it effectively? 」
With the imperial command of the Demon King from yesterday, they were heading to the area where the Wolf Demons lived, but the situation in the office becomes not very good when the 2 top members of the Shadow Army leave the castle.
Of course, if it is just a few days, it is not impossible to make up for it later, but that’s based on the premise that Mirage can work even during the day.
Since he is not able to do that, Astarte proposed this method so that his work would not be hindered and made it known to the soldiers of the Shadow Army.
Basically, it’s just the matter of exchanging documents, but if a problem arises, a letter is supposed to be attached to the document.
Mirage and Astarte both have a pair of contact ball, in case one of them losses the crystal ball and have taken all possible measures they could.
「Tart-Chan, you really can’t hide your true thoughts at all. Well now, I’m already used to being treated as a convenient carrier in the Demon King Army. I suppose you have already noticed but……..」
「err, it seems like the bandits. Even though we are already delayed because of the regular latecomer Mirage-Sama and now these troublesome things come.」
Even though most of the Demon territory is ruled by the Demon King army, still there are appearances of bandits and monsters on the roads.
The situation here is the same for both the demons and humans.
And both Mirage and Astarte continued to talk in a relaxed manner, not appearing to be in any particular panic.
It goes without saying that Mirage was delayed in the evening due to the lecture with Julia.
「What should we do? I think Tart-Chan is better at dealing with this.」
「…… don’t ever impose anything on me like that. Well, we don’t have time, so I’ll deal with it.」
As soon as they decided, about ten bandits rushed out of the darkness.
「oooi you, if you value your life, then that carriage…….」
「Illusion de Fleule」
「Leave it…….! And, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!」
「uwaaaaaaa! Stop! Stop it! 」
「hiiiiiiiiiiiiii, he, hel, help……..」
Some of the bandits tried to stop the carriage by coming in front of it, but they began to scream and shout for help as soon as Astarte used her hands to cast her magic spells.
The same goes for those who were about to attack the carriages from the side, and those who were approaching from behind, each one of them went down.
Then Mirage blew off the bandits in front of him by wind magic, and the carriage went on without slowing down as if nothing had happened.
Astarte resumed her paperwork and Mirage used transfer magic to retrieve two test tubes filled with liquid.
「Here, Tart-Chan, Mana potion. This is specially made by me; I think it is easier to drink than the ones in the market. 」
Saying so, Mirage handed one of his special mana potions to Astarte and then gulped down the other one himself.
Astarte who was staring at the test tube doubtfully, gulped down the potion as if decided after she saw Mirage drinking it.
「uhu, uhu, fuuu……… truly, that peculiar bitterness and the tingling sensation that lingers in the throat have been greatly diminished. The flavor has also become a little sweeter. And I feel that the speed of recovery of magic is also quite high… when did you develop such a thing? if it has such a quality, I think that it should be mass-produced even in the demon king army, but why is it not announced? 」
「 I’d like to do that, too, but the materials required for this are quite rare, so it is not suitable for mass production, also the consolidation of the mixture and magical power requires considerable skills. Up until now, I thought that I was the only one who could make it, but…… I will teach Tart-Chan later. Your control of Magic when using the Illusion magic the other day and Combined magic just now was almost perfect. I think it won’t be a problem for you at all Tart-Chan, considering the level you are at now. 」
The technique of simultaneously using two magics to create new magic — Compound Magic — naturally requires a long time and an unusual rare talent to master it.
Simultaneously using different magic at the same time is the pinnacle of the art of magic that requires a high level of skill, and it can be said to be the ultimate goal of a Mage’s life.
Further, the difficulty of compound magic greatly increases with the level of the magic combined, and Astarte combined her specialty Illusion magic and her tribe’s inherent magic Brainwashing magic.
Both Illusion magic and Brainwashing magic are magic techniques that use magic to influence the other party’s brain and are extremely difficult to control even when used alone.
At the same time, Astarte, who used it quickly and simultaneously against several distant opponents, has grown her ability to an immeasurable domain.
「Like I told you yesterday, even if you flatter me like that, I will not decrease your work while we are on the move. Besides, when I compare myself with Mirage-Sama, I can say that I am still immature and have got a lot to learn. Also, it consumes a lot of magic and there are a lot of other things I have to improve, like its effective range and the number of people it affects at a time. 」
「Tart-Chan is too serious. Even so, your skill has improved quite a lot compared to the time we first met. The name of the Maniac Astarte is going to become more and more popular. 」
Maniac—it is the alias of Astarte.
Like with the bandits a while ago, those who were affected by Astarte’s magic, have a fear of an object planted in them and then that fear is amplified using the Brainwashing magic and then they are made to experience that fear using the Illusion magic, usually leading to the subject fainting before letting out loud cry of agony.
Making an opponent experience madness without even laying her hand on them has led to her being called as Maniac, but that given name is quite contradictory with Astarte’s character, who loved tranquillity.
「I don’t even like that alias very much and……. besides that to catch up with Mirage-Sama’s hidden strength, I have to work harder. 」
As usual, she responds in an expressionless and calm manner, but when he hears those words Mirage became tensed.
「Oh, aha, wha, what are you talking about, Tart-Chan? If it is about the magic techniques, then I think that we are almost at the same level, or are you saying that you want to surpass me. I’m very confident in a lot of magic techniques, but the important thing is its comprehension and application. 」
Although agitated and almost dropping the reins, Mirage refutes Astarte with a dry laugh.
Mirage thought that Astarte’s recent ability has already surpassed the skills that he had shown in the Demon king’s Army and that the day of the change of the 4 Heavenly kings was near.
「I… How many years do you think I’ve been working under you Mirage-Sama? You’re indeed hiding it pretty well, but I can tell that Mirage-Sama’s ability is at a much higher level. This is what I could observe while working beside you. Of course, I think there might be some reason, and honestly, I would like you to be a little more active with that power…but I have already given up on that. As I have already realized that Mirage-Sama is an excellent example of a good for nothing and useless boss. If you suddenly become serious, I will get goosebumps. 」
Saying that Astarte stares at Mirage with reproachful eyes.
Mirage was surprised and wondered why were there so many women with such sharp intuition around him, first there was Julia and now Tart-Chan.
At the same, Mirage is very grateful for that and that is why he can’t determine his answer.
The Demon Mirage or the Human Falsa, the girls around him only know of one side, but the time when they become aware of the other side will be soon and at the time their relationship will surely break.
Mirage has a vague sense of unease that it was not long before the time when he would be forced to choose between being one of the 4 Heavenly King and the Mage of the Hero party.
「Well ………ok. Thank you, Tart-Chan. I’m very happy to have such an excellent subordinate like you. 」
Perhaps he saw Julia’s figure overlapping with her in some way, as Mirage began to stroke Astarte’s silvery soft hair as well as her horns automatically without thinking.
Astarte shoulders shook for a moment, but she resumed her paperwork as usual with an expressionless face, while Mirage continued stroking her hair with his left hand and grasping the reins with his right hand as he stared blankly into the darkness.
In the dark, the carriage kept on going, relying solely on the light of the lamp.
For a while, only the sound of little rusty wheels screeching resounded around the two of them.
[ TL NOTE: I have given the inherent magic of Astarte brainwashing magic, as I couldn’t find a better name for it, for now. But I will change it when I think of a better name in the future OR you people can suggest a better name and we can go with that.]