Deep within a dense forest…
There stands a figure, shrouded in a pitch-black robe, resembling a grim reaper.
His name? Robun.
Once known as the leader of Fáfnir’s followers, in his lifetime, he wielded the four elemental magics and was hailed as a peerless magician, known for his moniker, the『Thousand Spells』.
「Thousand Grand Fireballs!」
Countless fireballs spawn and surge.
Under their fiery onslaught, a creature lets out its death scream, succumbing to the flames.
「Alright, that’s done.」
He gazes at the now roasted griffon, dusting off the ashes from his robe.
「Let’s see, I was told to get a griffon’s beak, claws… and its heart. Yeah, this is perfect, not burned at all. Elibel will be pleased.」
Chuckling to himself, Robun begins to dismantle the defeated griffon.
His skeletal appearance beneath the robe makes for quite a macabre sight.
He looks like a proper villain.
Currently, Robun, once bound to Fafnir’s dungeon, enjoys his freedom outside, thanks to the merging of Fafnir’s dungeon with Earth’s.
Now, he’s working as Elibel’s assistant, running around the continent collecting rare materials vital for Fáfnir’s prolonged life.
「Given the freshness of these materials, it might be best to head back to the dungeon—」
But just as he thinks about heading back, a scream pierces the air.
Turning toward the source, he sees a group of people being attacked by monsters.
Oh, it’s just a griffon attacking some humans.
A common sight, really.
Though he initially thinks to walk away, seeing it’s not his concern, he takes a second glance and realizes something.
The griffon attacking the adventurers is bigger than usual and radiates intense magical power.
Could it be… a King Griffon!?
A higher species of the griffon, it’s not just its strength but the immense value of its materials that catch Robun’s eyes.
Its worth is tens of times more than the griffon he just took down.
He wants it.
He NEEDS those materials.
If he can get them, maybe Elibel would praise him even more.
『Robun, you’re amazing! I knew I could count on you! Thank you! I love you! Mwah!』
I’m just kidding
Blushing beneath his skeletal face, he dreams.
A bit horrifying for anyone who would see him.
Well, decision made.
That’s his prey.
With his scythe in hand, Robun confidently strides into the fray between the King Griffon and the adventurers.
Little does Robun know, in Elibel’s eyes, he’s just a useful lackey.
But sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
Robun bursts into the scene between the King Griffon and the adventurers.
For this mission, he wears gloves, a wig, and a mask specially made by Tres, ensuring his undead nature stays hidden.
Only those with exceptional magical detection skills would ever realize what he truly is.
「”Wind Magic Barrier!”」
The King Griffon’s claws, previously poised to slash an adventurer, get halted by Robun’s barrier of wind.
Both the beast and the adventurers are taken aback by this sudden interference.
But Robun won’t let this chance slip.
「―――”Thousand Grand Fireballs!”」
Orbs of fire expand around, encircling the mighty King Griffon.
However, the King Griffon isn’t passive. Activating a barrier of wind, it effortlessly deflects the fireballs.
It then uses a split second of vulnerability to quickly ascend and create distance.
（Impressive for an advanced species. Quick judgment… but a mistake nonetheless. It should have just fled…）
The creature isn’t fleeing but preparing to attack.
This is even more convenient.
Robun skillfully spins his scythe and starts drawing a magic circle.
Seeing this, the King Griffon lets out a haughty cry.
It’s a scoff.
It’s probably thinking, “Can magic really hit me during such high-speed flight?”
True, for an average magician, landing a hit on a rapidly flying Griffon would be impossible.
――――But then again… only for an “average magician.”
From the magic circle surrounding Robun, several arrows of lightning manifest.
This is a compound magic of water and wind.
Robun, quite uniquely, is proficient in all four primary elements.
He can freely combine them.
Therefore, his range of spells easily exceeds a thousand.
The lightning arrows pierce through the soaring King Griffon without effort.
Even a Griffon, regardless of its speed, can’t outmaneuver lightning.
The King Griffon lets out a pained cry.
While not fatal, its movement is now severely hindered.
Seizing this opportunity, Robun releases his ultimate spell.
「―――”Flaming Spear Thrust”」
A spear made entirely of flames appears.
To the average onlooker, it looks just like any other spear, but the sheer magical power and heat it radiates is palpable.
Without hesitation, Robun launches it, aiming straight for the Griffon’s forehead.
The flaming spear pierces its target with deadly accuracy.
With its life extinguished, the King Griffin succumbs to gravity, plummeting right in front of Robun.
（Great! Rare materials acquired. Now, for Miss Elibel… Hehehe.）
With this thought, he prepares to dismantle the creature.
「Hey, who are you? Why did you save us…?」
One of the adventurers from behind calls out.
Hmm? Oh right, he unintentionally ended up saving them while being preoccupied with the materials and Elibel.
Now, what to do?
Considering the dungeon, it might be better to kill them.
But Robun used to be human, and quite the softie at that.
Unlike other followers, he doesn’t have the heart to carelessly kill unrelated humans.
「What? Why am I suddenly so… sleepy?」
「Huh… what’s this…?」
One by one, the adventurers fall into a deep slumber.
The “Sleeping Curse” is a spell that puts the target to sleep.
It’s a unique magic that only undead like Robun can use.
It works only on those weaker or with lesser magic resistance than him.
While these adventurers seemed relatively strong, they were no match for Robun.
They fell asleep almost instantly.
All he has to do now is move them to a safe location.
But before he could begin dismantling the King Griffin,
「Excuse me… Who might you be? What happened to the monster?」
A voice calls out from behind.
Robun’s surprise is genuine as he turns to find a young woman, probably around seventeen or eighteen, draped in the ceremonial robes of the Holy God Religion.
Did he not notice her because she was behind the bushes?
But more importantly…
（…Did she resist my sleep spell?）
The “Sleeping Curse” places any living being within Robun’s specified range into a forced slumber.
Thus, even those Robun hadn’t intended to affect would be forced into unconsciousness if they happened to be within its range.
Robun is a disaster-designated species called the Death Lord.
Even if it was a weaker version of the “Sleeping Curse”, there was no way a regular Sister could resist it.
But, when Robun looked squarely at the Sister, he felt it.
（This woman… Her magical power is astonishingly immense.）
Of course, strength isn’t determined solely by the quantity of magical power one possesses, but it was impressive.
With that much power, resisting his “Sleeping Curse” might actually be possible.
Then, Robun noticed something else.
「…You can’t see, can you?」
Indeed, the woman’s eyes remained closed.
It didn’t seem as though she was consciously keeping them shut; it felt more natural, as if she was born that way.
She nodded in confirmation.
「Yes, I’ve been blind since birth. But what happened to the others? I haven’t heard their voices for a while―――」
Without even listening to her full story, Robun activates the spell once more, this time using the full strength of Sleeping Curse.
He thinks that this should undoubtedly put her to sleep. However…
「Umm… Did something happen?」
She seems entirely unaffected.
Now, Robun is genuinely surprised.
It was unexpected that she would resist even his full-power Sleeping Curse.
What should I do?
But she is a blind Sister, who can neither see him nor fight.
If she could fight, she wouldn’t have hidden in the bushes when the griffon attacked earlier.
Even if her magical power is strong, if left alone, she’d probably be attacked by monsters and dies.
So, perhaps the best course of action would be to quickly leave?
「Ah, my apologies for not introducing myself earlier. I am Orion, Orion Karla. I serve as a Sister in the Holy God Religion.」
As she speaks, she bows slightly.
Holy God Religion…
The sham religion that worships the so-called Holy Dragon (laughable), Elja, as a divine messenger.
「While I can’t see, my sense of magic is exceptionally acute. For you to so easily defeat that powerful creature… You must be quite strong.」
Her voice lacks any trace of tension.
It’s so casual it makes Robun’s head spin.
He scratches his head in frustration.
（This is exactly why Elibel says I’m too soft.）
From his pocket, Robun retrieves an object.
「…Hold out your hand.」
「? Okay, like this?」
Without any hesitation, Orion stretches out her hand.
Robun places a magic stone into her palm.
「What is this?」
「It’s called a Repel Magic Stone. It emits a specific frequency that repels certain monsters. This one is loaded with information about the monsters around this forest. With this, you can easily navigate through the woods.」
This Repel Magic Stone is an improved version, modified by Elibel, capable of storing data on multiple monsters.
Anyone possessing it, even an infant, could confidently stride through these woods.
「Are you sure you want to give me such a valuable item?」
「It’s no problem. Besides, meeting here might be fate. I’d have trouble sleeping knowing that you were killed by a monster after we parted.」
What is she apologizing for?
This Sister is really throwing Robun off his game.
Giving up on dismantling the King Griffon’s corpse, he chooses to carry it with him.
He wanted to leave this place as quickly as possible.
「Anyway, I’ll be going. The people you’re with will probably wake up in a few minutes. Goodbye.」
Ignoring her plea, Robun disappears into the woods.
Once he feels he’s far enough away, he sighs deeply.
「Haa~ I’m really too soft…」
That Sister, with her ability to resist his magic, is likely from the Holy God Religion on some mission.
And yet, Robun left after offering her half-hearted assistance.
「I’ll probably get scolded by Elibel again…」
Or, she might say something like, “Who cares about that, just bring me the materials quickly.”
He could easily imagine her saying that, and with a wry smile, Robun starts his journey toward the dungeon.
The woman left behind at the scene, Orion, stares intently at the Repel Magic Stone.
「….He had an incredible magical power.」
It was a power overwhelming, far beyond the monster they had confronted just moments before.
And she recognized that magical power wavelength.
It was the forbidden existence in the Holy God Religion… the undead.
Specifically, the magic of the undead.
Moreover, one of the higher echelons.
It incapacitated the A-Rank adventurers who were supposed to protect her effortlessly.
Most likely a Death Lord.
He had cleverly hidden his magic, but Orion’s magical perception far surpassed what Robun had anticipated.
「What…? What just happened to us?」
It seems the adventurers are regaining consciousness.
「Everyone, are you all awake?」
「Ah, Lady Orion. What happened? And the mage from before, where did he go?」
「He seemed to be just passing by. He left hurriedly in some direction.」
「I… I see… I wanted to thank him.」
The leader of the adventurers murmurs with a hint of regret.
「Yes, I agree.」
Orion responds and nods.
The stranger was undead, possibly the leader of them all.
Being a Sister of the Holy God Religion, dedicated to exterminating such beings, her path is clear.
「Anyway, Lady Orion, we should move quickly. Due to the monster attack, we’ve been separated from the others. It’s imperative to ensure nothing happens to you, the highest-ranking Saint of the Holy God Religion.」
「Understood. Let’s move.」
「Hey, you lot, get ready quickly! We don’t want that genius duo in the main group to get ahead of us.」
As the leader gives his orders, Orion sneakily glances in the direction the undead departed.
「…When we meet again, I hope to thank you properly, gentle Death Lord.」
Yes, her duty is clear.
To express her gratitude properly.
To say, “Thank you for saving my life.”
Holding tightly to the Repel Magic Stone, Orion starts walking with the adventurers, believing that she will meet the gentle Death Lord again.
And her wish would be granted sooner than she imagined.
Later, in the dungeon――
「Elibel, I’ve brought the materials!」
「As expected, Robun! I knew I could count on you! Thank you! Here, this is the next list!」
「Eh… Oh, alright.」
「Good luck, and hurry, please.」
August 2023 Patron: GoatBeards