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Chapter 16: To the Capital of the Empire (3)

I gazed blankly at the building before me.

A combination of white and gold gave it an antique feel, enriched with artistic designs seamlessly integrated throughout.

It was far more luxurious than most modern buildings I had seen.

But that wasn’t what mattered at the moment.

‘The security is tighter than I expected...’

After all, we were in a position where we needed to infiltrate this place.

The reason was simple.

This is where Rubia lived.

A character who supports the protagonist in every way possible.

A financier, a backer, an informant.

An indispensable figure in all sorts of miscellaneous affairs, crucial for our future endeavors.

Someone we absolutely had to recruit as an ally. I needed to meet her somehow and ask for her cooperation.

The problem was that Rubia was a successful entrepreneur turned noble.

There was no way we could meet such a person through ordinary means.

It was a given.

It would be like calling the headquarters of Samsung and asking to meet with Lee Jae-yong.

Only someone of a certain stature could even hope to schedule an appointment, how could mere commoners like me manage it?

So, I planned to sneak in using Siel’s magic to disguise ourselves and secretly contact Rubia to persuade her to our side.

‘But this is going to be a problem.’

It seemed impossible to infiltrate.

But we couldn’t just back down either.

There was something that needed to be dealt with urgently.

The empire’s coldest bloodthirsty tyrant.

Originally a competent businessperson, but becoming increasingly corrupt after getting involved with the empire, eventually turning into a complete lapdog of the empire.

We urgently needed to stop this ultimate villain who could send countless people to their deaths without batting an eye.

And the only one we could ask for help with this task was Rubia.

From the start, I had no idea who this mastermind was.

The person who wrote the spoilers took great care to describe the female characters’ names but only gave a rough description of the male characters’ appearances.

As a result, I found myself in the absurd position of having to figure out which suspicious-looking, balding man was the mastermind.

However, if I were to ask Rubia, the story would be different.

Even if I didn’t know the mastermind’s name, I was aware of the business they were planning to undertake.

And Rubia, being a successful entrepreneur, would surely know who the mastermind was.

If we were lucky, Rubia might even be able to stop them with her influence.

Given the uncertainty of when that bald man might turn evil and start a massacre, there was no time to waste.

Today, I had to find a way in.

Somehow, I have to go in.

“Siel, is there any way?”

Upon my query, Siel placed a hand on the ground, pouring black energy into the floor.

Siel, with eyes closed, shook her head after a moment.

Infiltration was out of the question.

To be honest, I had somewhat anticipated this.

Those magic engineering devices installed at the entrance.

I had seen them before in the previous work.

They were furniture items usable in the housing content of the game.

Incredibly expensive, but their performance was unmatched, rendering most camouflage magic ineffective if it even came close.

It meant sticking to the original plan was out of the question.

“Should we kill them?”

...Siel asked this very calmly. I was horrified and quickly stopped her.

Sure, if we killed all the guards, we could infiltrate.

And if we left the other security devices to Lien, there wouldn’t be any issues.

The problem was that Siel could kill someone in an instant without thinking, not that she was weak.

But we were there to ask for help from the owner of the house.

It wouldn’t make sense to kill all their employees when we’re asking for a favor, even if we were the good guys.

Even the most saintly person wouldn’t want to help someone who had just killed their staff.

‘What do we do now...’

That was the dilemma I was pondering when suddenly,

“I know this might sound foolish, but...”

Suddenly, Lien spoke up when we were silent.

Naturally, both our gazes shifted to her.

Feeling the weight of our stares, Lien continued in a more subdued tone, lacking her usual confidence.

“Do we have to go in through the front?”

“Are you suggesting we find an alternate route?”

What, should we dig a tunnel or something? I’m skeptical about the feasibility of that.

“The security seems focused on the entrance. Maybe we could enter from a different spot.”

...Indeed.

I recalled scenes from spy movies I’d seen before.

Scenes of breaking into places by making holes in glass came to mind.

I didn’t have such equipment, but I had Lien. It didn’t seem impossible for her to cut through glass.

“Siel, do you think it’s possible?”

I looked at Siel, hopeful, but she shook her head again.

It seems like there are alarm spells for detecting intruders on obvious entry points like windows.

At this point, I seriously contemplated giving up.

But once again, Lien didn’t give up and spoke up.

“Maybe we can make a hole.”

“Dig a hole in the wall? That doesn’t seem possible...”

My words trailed off naturally. It actually was possible.

With Lien’s power, something like that should be easy.

I looked at Siel again, who pondered for a moment before nodding.

As long as we stay away from the magic-dispelling devices near the entrance, maintaining the invisibility spell wouldn’t be an issue.

Now that it seemed feasible, there was nothing to hesitate about.

“Lien, please, as quietly as possible. Just a small hole.”

Lien nodded with a confident expression at my request.

...In hindsight, I should have asked Lien then.

After her power surged following that incident, had she had enough practice to test it? Was she really confident in controlling her strength?

But as always, regret only comes in situations that can’t be reversed.

-KWAAANG!!

With a loud noise, the wall crumbled like a cookie.

Shouts came from all around. It would have been strange not to get caught after such a commotion.

The mansion’s security system activated, and the red lights nullified our invisibility spell.

“......”

Lien looked at me with trembling eyes.

It was time to make a decision.

And... since we’ve come this far, there’s no turning back.

‘We have no choice but to push through.’

The spilled water can’t be put back. We have to meet Rubia somehow, or it won’t be worth it.

In fact, the hardest part is the first step; after that, it feels like nothing.

Let’s think a bit more flexibly.

Whether it’s a threat or a request, doesn’t it all come down to the outcome being favorable?

After all, it’s all in the pursuit of saving the world.

*****

Inside the lavish mansion, the opulent decorations showcased an antique elegance.

Within such a refined room, Rubia leisurely savored her tea.

Everything in sight was a result of her own achievements.

This mansion, all the ornaments, her current status.

She had always been on the winning side, never missing a beat in her streak of successes.

A smile naturally formed on her lips.

Today was a day worth commemorating.

A business venture she had invested in was finally bearing fruit.

Presenting this achievement would surely earn her recognition from the empire’s top brass. She was on the verge of obtaining unrivaled power.

With that thought, Rubia gracefully enjoyed her tea... or at least, she intended to.

-KWAAANG!

A massive noise erupted.

The ground shook with it.

Macarons, beautifully arranged on a plate, tumbled to the floor. Rubia’s situation wasn’t much different.

As she collapsed on the floor and hot black tea covered her face, a very pitiful, undignified scream rang out from Rubia’s mouth.

“What are you doing! Don’t just stand there, go and assess the situation!”

With a flushed face, Rubia yelled out.

Her guards hurried towards the source of the noise.

However... even after a few minutes, there was no report back from the guards about the situation being under control.

All that was transmitted through the communication magic was incomprehensible footage.

A golem, worth the price of five buildings, shatters into pieces with just a kick from a young girl.

The magic from a mage, treasured and brought from the magic tower, is effortlessly blocked by a girl with white hair, using nothing but her bare body.

The guards sent by her could only sit on the ground, utterly bewildered.

Their swords and spears were all unnaturally bent.

As if someone had destroyed them with sheer brute force.

These monsters, defying all logic, simply kept advancing.

Destroying everything in their path.

And then... Rubia realized.

The origin of the thunderous noise that had been echoing.

And the fact that it was getting louder.

-KWAAANG!

With a massive noise, the wall beside her crumbled.

A large hole appeared.

Through the dust, figures shaped like people were visible.

Mysterious creatures in black hoods were staring at her.

...Rubia felt an overwhelming urge to cry right then and there.

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