“You are the real one?” Asked Luke which made Nanas nod.
“Yes, the one whom Gregory killed is a subordinate wizard, who has a similar appearance to me.”
It was the first time for Luke and Gregory to see Nanas.
As a result, it was impossible for them to know how Nanas looked, and they didn’t have the time to conduct a prior identification search.
So when the fake one had come out, they couldn’t notice it.
Of course, even with a prior investigation, it would have been troublesome to know who the fairy was as the community of the fairies was closed.
“You are one stupid woman. You should have stayed hidden.”
One of the Saint Guard’s knights pulled out his sword and screamed, but Luke stepped forward and stopped the man.
“What are you doing, Marquis?”
“I have no intention of letting you do useless things.”
“What is that supposed to mean? Then…”
“Yeah, that is a magic illusion. The real one is hiding somewhere and watching us.”
And to prove his words, Luke shot a Fire Arrow at Nanas.
The Fire Arrow went past Nanas, and the body of Nanas distorted for a moment.
The men of Saint Guard frowned for a moment.
“Huh, if you think this is ignorant, what about the humans who want our races to follow you?”
Luke shot back at the sarcastic comment of Nanas.
“Well, it was you fairies who thought us to be a little ignorant. In particular, you fairies taught us magic and other stuff too, right?”
“Keuk, that is true. That was the biggest mistake of our ancestors.”
Nanas, who felt disgusted, looked at Luke and smiled.
“But there was one thing that our ancestors didn’t teach you, and that is at your feet right now.”
When she said that, Nanas’s finger snapped.
The glass floor of the hall cracked, and the building began to shake as if there was an earthquake.
“W-what is this?”
“Don’t tell me she is trying to bury us with this building!”
Everyone tried to hurriedly escape from the building.
However, as if they were being blocked by barriers, their bodies couldn’t move out of the building.
“T-this can’t be!”
While everyone was shocked and flustered, the glass broke at once and the building collapsed.
Luke saw that even in such a situation, the building debris didn’t fall immediately to the ground but began to transform into something by combining with the air.
A Trap type magic circle.
When the target approached, the magic-based materials that were scattered around moved into a preset position, and the magic circle would be completed and activate itself.
‘But from the shape of its build, it is far from a magic circle.’
It was like a huge box made of steel or glass, more like a cage.
When the form was completed, Luke’s group and Gregory’s subordinates, who were floating in the air till then, landed on the floor.
Although they fell from a height of 10 meters, none of them were weak enough to die.
Ta! Ta! Ta! Ta!
Hundreds of Fairy warriors, lead by Hyrun, appeared as if they were waiting for that moment and pointed their bows and weapons at the cage.
In the middle of all this was Nanas.
The real Nanas, not an illusion or substitute.
“What is all this?” Asked Gregory with his face as stern as ever.
The fairies, after seeing his face, stepped back not realizing the effect he had on them.
Nanas was the only one who wasn’t overwhelmed by the fearsome force of the Sword Sage.
“It is just what it looks like. Both Marquis Luke and Arch Duke Gregory will be our hostages. That way, the Princess who acts like a pope won’t play around.”
“You plan on holding us? Would that even be possible?”
At the words of Gregory, Nanas felt pity for him.
Even though he fell into the trap of the fairies, he judged that he couldn’t be stopped with the magic circle of the fairies.
“Such measly traps, I can get rid of them with my sword!”
Raising his voice, Gregory pulled out his sword and hit the glass and metal cage.
The Hyper Aura of a Sword Sage could destroy anything.
Its power could not just shatter any room but also a handful of fairies that was in its range.
Luke’s party and the men of Saint Guard believed so and showed a little anxiety.
Along with a loud crashing sound, the Hyper Aura just bounced off.
The Arch Duke, who was shocked by what happened, kept hitting again and again, but the result was the same.
There wasn’t even a small scratch on it, and the Hyper Aura began to disappear.
After seeing that, Nanas smiled.
The members of Luke’s party and the Saint Guards remained embarrassed at what they witnessed.
“Sire, what are we supposed to do?”
When asked by a young knight, Gregory looked at the sword in his hand.
His fist was trembling, and he couldn’t seem to hold on to his sword.
He was feeling exhausted as if he was really fighting a powerful enemy.
“My strength… got sucked out.”
“Huh? What is that supposed to mean?”
As if they weren’t convinced, the knights began to pull out their swords and started hitting the cage.
They couldn’t break it as well.
The reason was because the Aura of their swords was getting absorbed before it reached the cage.
Luke, who was witnessing it all from behind, looked closely at the possibility of the cage being related to dark magic.
When he saw how the aura was being absorbed, it seemed to be very similar to his Black Bind.
However, there was no trace of dark magic around.
“This wench! What kind of magic did you use?”
“That is magic. A very natural phenomenon.”
Nanas laughed as she answered the question of the knight.
“The water from the mountain flows into the sea. The wind too blows according to the season. Then what about mana, aura, and divine power?”
“W-what did you say?”
Luke was the only one who understood the explanation of Nanas.
In the old documents he studied, there were words that explained the nature of Magi in the past.
In those documents he found in the ancient ruins, he found out about ‘circulation theory’ which was introduced when talking about Aether—the basis of all power.
Just as the river flows into the sea, evaporates and then falls as rain on earth so was the Aether of the world.
“You know that there are mana fields all over the continent, right?”
“If the place where mana is abundant is like a mana field, then the place where you are standing now is like a vortex which devours everything.”
“It is just like water being seeped and going somewhere. There are mana and divine power. Not just that, even the vitality is reduced. It may not be noticed by you people just yet.”
The Dark Forest was a vortex that was sucking in Aether and vitality.
In addition to that vortex, Nanas had built a kind of structure that had been passed onto the fairies from the days of Abaron.
The structure strengthened and doubled the power of the vortex.
As a result, over 100 people had died in the process of installing the trap.
Even those who survived were severely exhausted, and living life would be difficult for them.
“Sucking in everything? Then, is this a cursed land?”
When Gregory asked, Nanas shook her head and answered, “This wasn’t a cursed land. It has been made like this. The Holy Empire loved their God. Your own God created this. This made everything in this world move instead of a an eternal standstill.”
Born and growing up, old age and then death, the body turns into manure and gives life to others.
Any life that sprouts and bears fruits for another life.
Just as Nanas said, it was circulating.
‘Right. Mana and Aether circulate. The final destination of Aether and new starting point.’
Luke roughly managed to figure it out.
However, just knowing the concept wouldn’t help them get out of there, and neither magic nor aura couldn’t be used.
One of the Hydra assassins ripped off the teleport scroll that he received from Luke.
However, even with the light flashing the scroll didn’t activate.
The power of the scroll got absorbed into the cage when it was about to activate.
“Scrolls can’t be used too?!”
“Lord, what are we supposed to do now?”
At the pleading voice from Henry and the pitiful looks from the assassins, Luke answered in a calm voice, “Don’t panic. You are expert assassins, respond calmly.”
Pretending to be calm, Luke calmed them down.
When the assassin previously tried to tear off the scroll, Luke tried to get his Gigant from his subspace bracelet.
If magic didn’t work, Luke thought of using physical force to break out of the cage.
However, the subspace didn’t open. Like the scrolls, ancient artifacts couldn’t be used as well.
‘Is there no other way?’
The power of the body couldn’t be used.
That meant Luke’s body would become exhausted as well like Gregory and the Saint Guard.
‘Well, I need some time for now. I need time to figure this out…’
However, Nanas was able to understand Luke’s thoughts.
It was the second time she used the trap.
Since she already had an experience when she killed Kamarov and Kawin in the past, she was aware of the actions and the psychological state of the ones in the trap would have.
“Marquis Luke, Arch Duke Gregory. I won’t be killing you two. Instead, I will be holding you two as hostages.”
With an evil smile, Nanas raised her hand.
With that as the signal, the warriors fired their bows in unison.