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Chapter 28: The Empire’s Worst Psychopath (1)

Perhaps I’m currently facing an adversary more formidable than that guy, Asher.

It seemed only natural for me to think so.

Because right now, in front of my eyes were children, sobbing pitifully.

Though only four of them were unable to speak, for some reason, I couldn’t understand even the words of that blind girl now.

By the looks of it, she probably didn’t know what she was saying herself either.

Her sobs were interspersed with attempts at speech, but it was closer to babbling than any real conversation.

‘Well, I sort of get why they’re acting like this.’

From their perspective, they must feel like they’ve abandoned their savior by running away.

Feeling guilty wasn’t unreasonable.

‘But honestly, I’m totally fine with it.’

It’s to be expected.

I’m not some mad psychopath, and there’s no way I would force children, who should be in kindergarten, to stake their lives in a fight.

So, there was absolutely no need for the children to feel any guilt.

“Don’t worry about it. I was the one who told you to run away first.”

“B,bu,but still...”

“If you had stayed, it would have been hard to fight worrying about you, right? Following my orders promptly was actually commendable.”

I tried to comfort the kids with these words, but their expressions remained gloomy.

They were still feeling guilty, it seemed.

After pondering for a moment... I spoke again.

“If it really bothers you... you can just help me out when you grow up.”

A phrase I threw out to console them. But honestly, it contained a bit of my own selfish desire.

It was only natural. If these kids had any talent, I hoped they would help prevent the end of the world when they grew up.

Of course, I had no intention of using these young kids as soldiers.

If they were really going to help me, that would be a matter for the future.

With these thoughts, I gently stroked the children’s heads.

Fortunately, this seemed to work somewhat, as their crying slowly ceased.

The blind girl nodded her head with a determined expression, as if she had made some kind of resolve.

Even though her eyes were red and swollen, making her serious expression look rather cute.

‘Now that I think about it, I’ve gotten quite used to doing things like this.’

It feels like just yesterday I was struggling to become friends with Siel, and now here I am, adept at dealing with children.

The feeling of being suspiciously good at handling young kids.

...I’m not sure if I should be proud of this or not, but for the sake of my mental health, let’s just consider it a good thing.

After all, thanks to that, I’ve managed to calm the kids down.

Now, all that’s left is to gather what I need and leave.

‘I’ve already secured the holy sword, but I can’t miss out on the artifacts.’

It’s a given.

After all the trouble of defeating the boss, not collecting the reward would be the height of foolishness.

Since I can’t take everything with me, I’ll select as many of the best ones as possible to bring along.

With that thought, I began to survey the items... and then an idea struck me.

“Hey kids, can you help me out here?”

Why bother selecting only the good artifacts? If we all work together, we can take everything.

With five of us, we could carry not just the artifacts but a significant amount of gold as well.

With this in mind, I asked the children for help.

The process that followed was incredibly smooth.

Since I knew all the artifacts in the game, I described their shapes to the girl, and the blind girl would use her senses to find their location, then we’d simply collect them.

In less than two hours, we managed to clean out the entire warehouse.

A smile naturally formed on my lips.

When I think about it, it wasn’t even hard.

We had collected over twenty artifacts by now.

If I had gathered these through the standard route of exploring ruins, it would have taken over 20 years at the fastest.

Yet here I was, having acquired the results of 20 years in just two hours.

And I hadn’t spent a single penny of my own money.

There’s no cheat like this level of cheat.

......What to do.

At this rate, I might actually get a taste for robbery.

*****

I led the kids out of the warehouse.

With everything gathered, all that was left was to regroup with my other companions and leave this place.

I was about to head to the VIP seating area to meet up with Miss Rubia when... I noticed something odd.

‘...Isn’t it too quiet?’

It was unusually silent.

There should have been a terrorist attack, but for some reason, not a soul was in sight.

An utterly incomprehensible situation.

I quickly surveyed the streets of the black market to grasp what was happening.

...Bloodstains were everywhere. No matter where I looked—the ground, the walls—strange bloodstains were scattered all around.

However, the odd thing was, despite the abundance of bloodstains, not a single corpse could be found.

I calmly assessed the situation.

There was no need to ponder whose blood it was.

It obviously belonged to those fake Black Fangs. The reason why none of the terrorists were visible seemed to be that they were all probably dead.

So, who took care of them?

‘...It must have been Asher.’

This thought also explained why only the bodies were missing.

He’s a dark mage. He must have efficiently used the bodies of his fallen enemies.

I found myself having to slightly adjust my assessment of Asher.

Perhaps I had underestimated Asher’s abilities.

After all, upon reflection, the psychological warfare, and the information I possessed about him, had been fatally effective against him.

The magic Asher used was mostly learned from his master, making it easy to dispel.

The dark mage realizing his paternal love and the boy who unwittingly killed his own father.

The psychological depiction of the dark mage was quite impressive, and I particularly enjoyed the story for not washing away the villain’s deeds but ending in tragedy.

Having memorized it all, I was able to perfectly target Asher’s psychological weaknesses.

Moreover, Asher, unaware of my immunity to mental attacks, chose to overdrive the corrupted holy sword as his trump card.

...Considering this, from Asher’s perspective, there couldn’t be a more unfair situation.

He faced someone who knew all his spells, understood all his circumstances, and even his trump card was ineffective.

To be this unlucky could almost be considered miraculous.

‘No, should I say he was actually lucky?’

Had he defeated me, his end would have been far more terrible than it is now.

Had I even received a scratch, wouldn’t he have been dismembered into 17 pieces by Lien?

I certainly had no intention of sparing such scum. Far from stopping it, I would have egged it on.

Instead, by losing to me, he managed to end his life through somewhat more humane means.

Maybe Asher is thanking me from hell?

‘Perhaps this is a gift of gratitude from Asher.’

When I think about it, it’s strange for me, a decent modern person, to suddenly develop a taste for thievery.

It’s more plausible to think that Asher’s wishes from hell have reached me.

Asher’s desire to repay me in some way must have been transmitted, suddenly filling me with the urge to raid his warehouse.

‘Thank you, Asher. I won’t let your feelings be in vain.’

After completing this perfect self-rationalization, I walked through the streets with a lighter step, a thought occurred to me.

‘Now that I think about it, what would the Black Fangs think of this situation?’

It was a natural question to have.

This situation.

To anyone unaware of the details, it would appear as though the fake Black Fangs were killed, and the archmage died in the process.

It was obvious who would be blamed for this act.

The Black Fangs.

This incident would be known as the grand event where the Black Fangs severely punished those impersonating them and even killed an archmage, effectively erasing the black market from the world.

Even though the Black Fangs hadn’t actually done anything this time.

I was the one who killed the man disguised as the archmage, and Asher himself took care of the fake Black Fangs.

‘It makes me think secret organizations have their troubles too.’

It’s ridiculous to try to prove it wasn’t their doing, so in the end, their leader might have to tacitly accept it as their own action.

Thinking about it made me feel somewhat sympathetic.

‘Since it has come to this, let’s exploit it one more time.’

With that thought, I looked around.

Slaves left behind by fleeing slave traders, not yet picked up.

There were no guards or surveillance cameras around.

It was possible that among these, there might be protagonists from the original story.

There was only one thing for me to do now.

Pretend to be the Black Fangs and blindly attempt to save them.

It was time to play the gacha.

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