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Chapter 514

“What the hell?”

“An attack?”

“Damn Aberis!”

While we hid in the shadows, the Osterian women in the guard tower burst out of the door and ran down the hallway. Thankfully, they ignored this murder hole and went to a wider window to look and see what happened, and after seeing, they cursed and continued on.

I let out a breath of relief. I had recognized several of the women from Titan Fall. Worst of all was Alysia, the leader. It turned out she was a general in this fort. Her group were S-class. Although I had never fought them personally, they were supposedly very strong. I didn’t really know how our team compared, because we never went the official Adventuring Guild route, but even with hopeful thinking, we were probably only equal to Titan Fall in ability. That was only my pride speaking. There was a good chance we were actually weaker.

Thankfully, the group didn’t figure out our goal, and Terra and Celeste’s distraction worked to bring them out of the room.

“I’ll get the alarm going soon…” I heard Shao’s voice.

“It’s a bit late for that!” I cursed.

“Ah… I don’t need to anymore?”

“No! Didn’t you hear that explosion!”

“Oh! Then I’ll just keep killing guards.”

“Is that what you’re doing?!”

“Aren’t you busy?”

“Geh…” I was wasting time while talking to Shao about her extracurricular activities.

I gesture for Miki and Otto to follow me. His movements are less shaky now that the alarm had been set. I wouldn’t necessarily call it bravery, but it was resignation that he was too far in to quit now.

The three of us enter the guard room, heading down into the cell block under the fort. You’d technically call that a dungeon too, but perhaps in this world, it takes on a different meaning and the word doesn’t fit as well.

The keys were thankfully left on a hook near the door. We were able to unlock it and then venture underground. There was a long hallway of cells. It was dark, dank, and smelled like human beings living in close proximity for a long time. The smell wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t horrific either. The cells under the castle weren’t that bad either, now that I thought about it. When you imagine some underground prison, you imagine it being filled with rats and smelling of death and rot.

I guess, in reality, people had to work in these jails, so they at least did the base level of cleaning up and maintenance. Well, technically, there was cleanup magic that could manage all this. I still wanted to learn it from Faeyna one of these days. It must have made it easy to keep these kinds of environments from being too gross.

“Brother?” Otto called out.

Now that he was so close to his brother, he actually took the initiative and ran ahead, running from cell to cell. I thought about releasing everyone, but some of these people might not be war criminals. They might be murderers or something. Plus, we didn’t have a lot of time. I’d be guilty if I released people who shouldn’t be released and then brought them back to Aberis.

“Otto?” A hoarse voice came out from a hallway at the end of the cell.

“Lord Deekson! He’s here!” Otto declared excitedly.

I ran up and unlocked a cell, stepping into the cage of Octius Tibult, one of Otto’s big brothers.

Chapter 515

“Oh my, oh my… I didn’t expect little brother to bring such a manly man to come rescue me.”

“It seems we entered the wrong cell. I’m sorry, ma’am. I’ll leave you to it.”

“H-hey!” Otto caught my arms. “This is my brother.”

“You’re confused.”

“Teehee… I’m not a lady, but if it’s you, you can push me down if you want.” Octius bit his finger. “Just be gentle.”

We entered the cell to find Octius there. He was just how Otto described. He had long blond hair, bright blue eyes, and he was also a chick. No, I guess that was impossible. He was wearing prisoner clothing, and despite a tight-fitting top and tight underwear, there was a distinct bulge where no bulge should be on a woman.

However, calling him an ikemen would be a gross understatement. He had long, slender, hairless legs and a slender body. He didn’t have a muscular chest. Rather, it was just flat, yet somehow it fit her… ahem… him… perfectly. He had a soft face, big red lips, and if I didn’t have Otto and Octius saying otherwise, would be a girl easily at the level of any of my girls. In certain ways, she seemed even hotter, especially chained to a wall with her midriff exposed… I mean his… it’s a he! A he!

I cleared my throat and looked away, handing Otto the key. “This is your brother?’

“Teehee… you can check if you want. We already have the chains. It’s perfect for playing.”

How is Otto’s brother even gayer than he is? I thought there was a level of familiar disappointment with having a son who was a homosexual. I even came to think that his homosexuality led to his trusted men turning on him. Apparently, I was the one who had the preconceived prejudices. The men would have had no problem with this, as they respected General Octius, who had no qualms about flirting with men. In fact, he hadn’t even taken a glance at Miki since we entered his cell although he was eyeing me in an uncomfortable way.

“Brother… please… behave yourself,” Otto said while looking like he wanted to cry.

“Brother is always so serious!” Octius pouted.

No, let’s think about this for a second. Otto grew up with a brother like Octius. Would it be any surprise that he ended up preferring manly men? Otto’s type was muscular guys. That’s one of the reasons we got along since I wasn’t his type and it didn’t lead to any uncomfortable looks. Considering his brother’s appearance, did it not make sense that he rejected women? It was essential for his own mind to keep from breaking! At least, that was what I was thinking.

Once Otto freed Octius, his expression grew more serious. “Good, then, please cut me down now. And then kill yourself as well. Don’t leave our bodies, or they might resurrect me before the church does.”

Otto jerked at that, his smile twitching unhappily. “Brother… Father said I would not be resurrected again.”

He frowned. “Nonsense! Once you save me, I’ll make sure you are brought back! How could I let my cute little brother get captured! That’s why I broke into enemy lines to save you. If it wasn’t for that wretched magical artifact, I would have escaped too!”

“It doesn’t matter. I can make a portal and take you out of here.”

“Oh?” Octius’s eyes lightened, “You’re a Blue Mage? Smart and cute… where has brother been hiding you?”

“Th-this is that Lord Deekson I was telling you about!” Otto declared.

“Oh? Teehee… former enemies become lovers. So romantic!”

“I’m with her!” I grabbed Miki and held her like a human shield, unable to handle this guy any longer.

Octius seemed unaffected as he shrugged. “Well, no one’s perfect.”

Miki’s face twitched, and I worried she might do something to exacerbate the situation. I decided to open the portal instead. This led to outside the fort and was set to appear near Terra. Using the Map skill and my Slave Location abilities, this wasn’t a problem. It was also how I got into the fort using Shao as my point. I had set up my dungeon points to cast four Portals. This was my second since midnight passed. That gave me one to help recover my missing girls, and one to get back to our territory. If I needed more, I’d have to take the time to Reset and rearrange my remaining points.

Otto shoved Octius through the portal and then followed behind him, eager to leave the cell block. Miki ran behind him. Before I left, I sent a message to Shao.

“Get out of the fort now and rendezvous with the girls if you can. Meet up with Lydia first if possible.”

If Lydia and Shao were being held down, I’d open a Portal, and they could jump to me. Portals were two-way, I had tried it once or twice to make sure it would work, so there was no risk in using it this way. Once we were all together, we could escape safely.

“Okay!”

Once I got her confirmation, I took a breath and stepped forward. At that moment, a wave of power slammed into me. I hadn’t been prepared for it and felt myself being tossed back and away from the portal. I saw the magic shattering at that moment before I slammed into the wall and blacked out.

Chapter 516

I only blacked out for just a moment. When I regained consciousness, I was still at the end of the cell block, sitting against a wall. My head throbbed. I immediately cast a healing spell and then brought myself to my feet. I couldn’t see anything. Not only was the cell block dark, but whatever shockwave had hit me had lifted up all the dust in the room, creating a fog that blocked my vision after a few feet. I lifted my hand and cast Portal. Nothing happened. Return. Nothing.

“Can’t escape?” A familiar female voice came out from the fog. “It’s an interesting magical object discovered in the Mirror Labyrinth. It functions a bit like a dungeon. It creates a field that blocks people from transportation. Your soul also won’t be able to escape, so if you die, you die for good. It will finally change the course of the war, allowing the end to these petty conflicts.”

I couldn’t believe the words coming from Alysia’s mouth. I had thought her to be a kind, shy woman. Well, that was the Dungeon Diver, leader of Titan Fall. This was a General, loyal to her own nation.

Of course, it didn’t work exactly like a Dungeon. I could escape from dungeons using my transport spells. However, that was the thing about my blessing. It was specifically given by, and specifically geared for, dungeons. This… was something else. That was enough that my blessing was useless. As powerful as my blessings were, they were only as powerful as the curse in the dungeon they came from, and I had only defeated weak curses so far. Powerful artifacts and unique spells from the Great Dungeons would always be stronger than these blessings.

“You wish to… kill people?” My voice was raspy thanks to the dust and the impact, and unrecognizable, it seemed.

“I wish to save people. It is called a deterrent. Once people start to respect human lives, they won’t waste so much time over these petty squabbles and will work to take care of the true threat! They fear dungeons because it forces them to put their lives on the line. So, they ignore dungeons and instead fight silly skirmishes on the surface. I’ll make war just as scary, and by showing them the consequences, we can finally form an alliance and fight the dungeons completely.”

“One artifact isn’t going to change the world,” I coughed.

“You’re right. Sadly, the fuel for this can only be found in the Mirror Labyrinth, and the cost is high. That is why I spent the last month collecting enough. We have negotiated with Jespain to bring in some magical researchers. Once they reverse engineer the enchantment, the Ost Republic will be able to cover this world in restrictive formations, and make death truly matter.”

“You will cause millions of deaths!”

“And save the world!” she declared, and I could now see her tall form coming from the smoke.

“And you think the heads of Ost Republic, your politicians… they’ll just be happy with just playing nice? They’ll use it to conquer the world!”

“No! We just want peace! It’s Aberis that has pushed us! My countrymen aren’t that kind of people.”

“You’re just naïve and idealistic! This isn’t going to work the way you think? Why are you telling me this?” My voice was recovering, and as I did, she seemed to walk slower and slower.

“Because… I want you to understand why you must die. Why I have to kill the general you helped escape. He knows too much. Why I have to kill everyone you brought with you, even those unconscious soldiers we trapped. You have done well, soldier, in making it this far. It’d only be too pitiable that you died without knowing why.”

In the end, Alysia and I just didn’t see eye to eye on this. It wasn’t that she was an evil person. She was polite when speaking to me, and I believed what she said. She even sounded regretful in having to kill me. I could sense a great weight on her heart. This war had taken a toll on her. How many times had she watched people she cared about die? How many of them reached a point where their minds started to break?

“Alysia… you don’t have to do this,” I said, finally.

“Do I know you…” She finally stepped out of the fog, and I could make out her facial features, as I knew she could make out mine.

“Hello, Alysia.”

“Deek…!” She gasped, covering her mouth, her entire body shaking.

I made my decision, drawing my blade. “I can’t allow that artifact to remain in your hands. I will take it from you! It will be my life, or yours!”

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