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Chapter 31: The Empire’s Worst Psychopath (4)

After much deliberation, the statement was finally crafted. The last task to be handled in the black market was now complete.

There are many concerns about how well it will be received and how the Black Fangs will respond to the statement, but for now, all that needed to be done has been accomplished.

All that’s left is to return to the mansion of Miss Rubia, which has unexpectedly become our hideout.

‘I never thought I would get stuck at this part.’

A very realistic problem has hit me. Getting back is fine, but how on earth do we go about it?

‘Our numbers have increased too much.’

Including the slaves we just rescued and our own group, there are more than thirty people.

Of course, taking the train was not an option.

It’s obvious.

While everyone else fled in terror, are we supposed to casually take dozens of slaves shopping and hop on a train? That would be like advertising to get us caught and interrogated.

Besides, walking such a distance is far too great.

Moreover, moving in such a large group. It’s very likely we’d draw unwanted attention and be followed.

And if the Empire were to notice,

No, worse, if they were to ridiculously mistake us for the Black Fangs.

‘That’s a situation I absolutely must avoid.’

We must avoid that at all costs.

So, to sum up the current situation, it’s simple.

We can’t take a train, nor can we walk. However, we must quickly get out of here and head to the mansion.

‘...This is driving me crazy.’

My head is spinning.

Whether it’s dealing with a corrupted holy sword split in two, a sudden terror attack, or a desperate fight with Asher, many unexpected events were resolved without much trouble.

But now, we’re stuck on the bizarre issue of ‘how do we actually get home?’

When the game becomes reality, these are the complications that arise. Normally, one would just click for fast travel on the map and be done.

But without that, these problems arise…

‘...Hold on.’

Fast travel, can we really not use that right now?

Of course, this damn status screen keeps displaying the usual ’The path of fate is being reset’or something.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a complete lack of alternatives.

“Siel... Can you use some kind of teleportation magic?”

I asked Siel, who after a moment of consideration, nodded affirmatively.

I couldn’t help but reevaluate Siel’s capabilities once again.

To think she could use high-level magic like teleportation. What kind of incredible talent does she possess?

‘These comrades in this work are really too competent.’

In the previous works, companions all started from the bottom, but here, it’s as if everyone is a powerhouse.

Looking at the specs, they seem more akin to bosses than fellow characters.

“We can only send those people.”

Siel said that. She meant that she could only teleport the thirty slaves, excluding us.

But that was to be expected.

The difficulty of teleportation magic increases exponentially depending on the target.

If it were so easy to use teleportation magic on strong opponents, one could simply teleport anyone 500 kilometers up in the air and let them fall to their death.

No, there wouldn’t even be a need to drop them from a height.

One could just cancel the magic midway and tear them apart in the fabric of space.

It’s not without reason that I’ve been saving the amulet Siel gave me.

It can only move to where my shadow falls, and it takes a long time and various ingredients to create.

That someone like Lien or Siel could be teleported instantly was utterly unbelievable.

‘Perhaps, the demon Siel contracted with might actually be quite useful in terms of utility.’

The cost of half a soul is certainly painful, but it seems to be worth the meal, so to speak.

Thanks to this, things have become unexpectedly easier.

‘We can just take the train back normally.’

Walking would take at least ten days.

Ten days is not a short time.

We don’t know when or how destruction will come, or what we need to stop to prevent it.

I cannot afford to waste time.

So, the plan was to take the train again on the way back.

‘...Somehow, I have this unsettling feeling that we might end up on the same train as terrorists.’

Surely it’s just a misconception.

My brain has been too marinated in web novels.

While terror episodes are common when it comes to trains in stories, this is reality.

The chances of encountering a terrorist organization in real life aren’t that high.

It seems my instincts might be a bit off.

I used to trust my good instincts, but lately, I seem to be misstepping frequently.

“Shall we prepare now?”

Siel suggested. Probably she would start preparing the teleportation magic right away if I agreed.

However, I shook my head.

The reason was quite simple.

‘We need to lay down some business foundations.’

How could I miss such a good opportunity?

Now I could pick and choose as much of the materials I wanted as I wanted.

With thirty people at our disposal, it made sense to send them all together, each loaded with various items.

Sure, it felt a bit like stealing.

But then again, the black market was already half destroyed, and the merchants had either been caught in the explosion or had fled. If we left things as they were, the Empire would just take everything.

It’s better that we put it to good use instead.

This was, in a way, retaliation against the Empire. Diverting goods meant for the imperial treasury surely counted as a perfectly justifiable act of rebellion.

I directed the people we rescued to gather various items.

It was time to set up a business foundation for free.

*****

The children were more competent than I had anticipated. Perhaps because they had all miraculously survived death. They were more passionate and capable than expected.

A blind girl took charge, sensing the location of items, and the others fetched them as directed.

The efficiency of this systematic division of labor was significant. It took less than an hour for them to gather all the materials I requested.

Now, we really had taken everything we could from here. From holy swords and artifacts to materials and manpower, we had completely cleaned out the place.

All that was left was to send the slaves via teleportation magic, and for us to take the train back to the mansion.

‘It was supposed to take about two hours.’

Teleportation magic, especially targeting so many people, required more time than one might expect.

That meant we had some time to spare.

I could sit and blankly watch Siel drawing the magic circle, but…

‘That would be such a waste.’

As someone who prioritizes efficiency, I couldn’t allow such a waste of time.

If there’s something to be done, it’s better to do it.

That’s why I was now walking the streets of the black market.

Most customers and merchants had fled.

However, that didn’t mean there was nothing left to gain here.

‘It’d be a shame to give up now.’

It might be an obsession, but having come this far, I wanted to recruit at least one good character into our group.

Though we had rescued most of the abandoned slaves, there’s no such thing as 100% certainty in this world.

Who knows?

Perhaps there’s still a good character here waiting to be rescued.

‘…Well, the chances are low, I know.’

But there’s no harm in trying, right?

There’s spare time anyway.

Might as well make somewhat useful use of it.

Even if I don’t find any good characters, picking up any item would mean I haven’t lost anything.

And then, what should I say?

A strange conviction struck me.

A belief that I might just meet a key character from the original work.

‘Well, my instincts have been off lately.’

But this time, an unfounded intuition filled my mind.

So, I wandered around, glancing around the streets of the black market.

Unfortunately, no auspicious coincidence seemed to appear.

It ended up being just a meaningless stroll.

Almost two hours had passed. I couldn’t afford to spend more time here.

Eventually, I sighed and started to head back to where Siel was.

...Well, I intended to.

“Is anyone there?”

At that moment, a voice reached my ears. I turned my head to pinpoint the source of the sound.

And then... my face hardened in an instant.

A blue ponytail.

A knight with black eyes.

Every detail matched what I had read in the spoiler posts.

However, no smile formed on my lips. It couldn’t have.

It was only natural.

The person standing before me was the empire’s worst psychopath.

Though appearing as a noble and upright knight... in reality, it was scum who reveled in committing heinous crimes, murdering, and torturing people.

In other words,

for the first time since my possession, I was face to face with a named villain.

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