Chapter 14: The “Incompetent” and “Delinquent” Prince 2
“……are you going to hunt birds?”
Everyone is puzzled by Lute’s outrageous words.
However, Lute did not answer the questions of his subordinates, but instead gestured to them to follow him and left the tent. When his men hurriedly followed him, they found him standing right next to the tent, looking up at the sky.
And at that timing, Azure arrives with firewood in her hand.
“Lute-sama. I brought firewood and salt.”
“Thank you Azure-dono. Please leave them there.”
Even while giving instructions to Azure, Lute does not stop looking at the sky. Azure wonders at Lute’s behavior, and after putting down the firewood and salt, she approaches his men.
“… What the hell is Lute-sama doing?”
“No, that’s what we are also wondering…We were instructed to help him with handling birds, but for some reason, His Highness was in that state.”
“Birds…? Are you going to hunt wild birds? I’m not sure you’re allowed to do that.”
“That’s what we’re saying too, but…”
Although Lute spends his days quite freely, his position is that of a prisoner of war of the invading army. Since the invasion forces have their own prestige, there is no way that they would allow him to leave their control, even temporarily. If they were to leave the military with supervision, permission might be granted on the off-chance that they did so, but permission for arming themselves would definitely not be granted. Even if Lute is a wizard of the demi-god level and could destroy the invading army if he wanted to, let alone escape, this is a line that the military cannot compromise on.
That is why both his subordinates and Azure are tilting their heads: “From the way he talks, I’m guessing he’s going to hunt wild birds, but what is he going to do when he can’t even hunt?”
However, Lute did not answer their questions, but muttered a few words while looking at the sky.
──In the next moment, a wild bird fell from the sky and stopped in the air right near Lute.
“Oh, ‘Strong Muscle Duck’ huh? This is good luck.”
At that unexpected scene, everyone present except for Lute was wide-eyed and speechless.
But the astonishment did not end there.
With Lute’s words, all of the bird’s feathers scatter. What remained was “duck meat” that had been stripped naked and processed into food.
“….So, Your Highness. I’m sorry to interrupt your seemingly contented moment, but may I ask you a few questions?”
While everyone was in a state of shock and amazement at the mysterious scene, one of my subordinates, who had finally recovered from his surprise, spoke up.
“What is it?”
“First of all, why did that bird come down…?”
“Yeah. I was looking at the sky just now, wasn’t I? Ah, I was waiting for a random bird to pass right above me. So, when it passed, I magically froze the movement of its heart.”
“How is that possible!?”
“My range can cover the entire battlefield. Of course it works if I turn the horizontal into the vertical.”
“……… stopped in mid-air?”
“If it hits the ground and becomes muddy, it will be ruined. So I froze …… the movement in mid-air, or rather stopped it.”
“… why did the bird become completely naked in an instant?”
“I only froze the feathers. And if it’s frozen, you can remove it freely like that.”
“You’re really crazy!”
His subordinates couldn’t help but raise their voices at Lute, who answered all the questions as if it were a matter of course. The fact that Lute is a magician with the status of a demi-god is understandable, but this time, the vector was too different.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, but isn’t Your Highness’ magic a bit strange?! I understand that it’s freezing magic, but the way it’s used is just too bad! Especially cardiac arrest from a distance! It’s too dangerous!”
“What are you talking about? It would be more dangerous to freeze the battlefield itself.”
“No, I mean, yes, but!?”
Theoretically, Lute’s words may not be wrong, but more than that, they are situationally wrong, his subordinates exclaimed. Why did he use such a pinpoint method of stopping the heart of an arbitrary creature, a method that is suited for assassination, right in front of Azure’s and the imperial watchdog’s eyes?
While inwardly thinking about this, the subordinates glanced at Azure. Surprisingly, however, Azure, although she was taken aback by Lutes’s messiness, did not show any kind of alarm or sense of danger. Although she had seen the use of magic that could only be used for assassination, she was not alarmed.
“… Um, Azure-dono?”
“What is it?”
“Just now, my Highness did something pretty dangerous, but are you okay about that?”
“Are you referring to the ‘ideal assassination magic that can only be handled as a death from disease no matter how it’s done’?”
“… that’s right”
As expected, Azure correctly recognized the magical threat that Lute had just displayed.
Yes, it is. The truly terrifying thing about Lute’s [long-range forced cardiac arrest magic] is not that it can kill a person from a distance with no questions asked, but that it can kill without leaving any “evidence” at all.
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, especially the elderly. If the victim has no external injuries, there is no evidence of poisoning, and there are no signs of a struggle at the scene, there is no choice but to treat it as a death from illness. Furthermore, there is no need for Lute to even be near the victim, as the area of effect is at least as large as the battlefield.
If he wanted to, he could easily assassinate an important person, even an emperor, in a natural way without leaving any evidence. That is the reality of the magic used by Lute.
“… Um, His Highness doesn’t have such bad intentions. As you can see, he’s only using it to catch birds. We probably don’t think of such a big deal as assassination, so ……”
“Please, just exclude it as a risk factor…”
“What the hell do you people think of me?”
“Um, he’snot thinking about eliminating anything, so don’t worry…”
Lute stared at his subordinates who desperately tried to explain themselves in cold sweat. Azure smiles wryly.
“No way! You can’t trust someone who can think normally and can use magic like that, especially someone who came from the enemy side!?”
“Idiot. If you say something like that, it will start working as soon as the talk about ‘perception freeze’ comes up. That’s a bad enough kind of magic.”
It is already known to Klaus and other high-ranking officials of the invasion force that Lute had been spending his spare time in the Kingdom of Land, going out into the city. Naturally, they have also heard about the means of freezing the perception, that is, the magic that makes it impossible to perceive anything by freezing the concept of Lute in others.
The ideal assassination magic is the same here. In fact, this one is more threatening because it can be used not only for assassination but also for “theft. Still, the invasion forces have not moved to eliminate Lute, which means that this is the case.
“You’re all wrong to begin with. Think about the range of a demi-god wizard. Even from outside the city, they can wipe out the target and its surroundings. It’s not a matter of whether it’s suitable for assassination or not. If the demigods are so inclined, most attacks can’t be prevented and end with the assailant unknown, you know? At that point, there’s nothing you can do.”
Of course, in such a case, the name of the demi-gods would be mentioned as a possibility, but that would be the end of the matter, without a doubt. This is because the country wants to avoid any action that might cause discomfort to the demi-gods based on an uncertain possibility. Furthermore, even if they move to restrain him, if he resists, defeat is inevitable.
Of course, there are limits to such non-interference. No matter how much the opponent may be a demi-god, even the empire cannot overlook too much mischief. The face of the nation will be destroyed if lawlessness is allowed to continue. But conversely, if the lawlessness does not go too far, the nation will have no choice but to overlook it. As long as the scales do not tip in favor of the “face of the nation”.
“The empire has been dealing with such nonsense for many years. They are hardcore in that area. In other words, your fears are unfounded. Right? Azure-dono.”
“You are right, Lute-sama. We would not be so foolish as to doubt the One who is to become our new brethren.”
Azure nodded at Lute’s words. There are no fools in the empire who are panicked by the possibility of such “what ifs” and try to eliminate the demi-god. This is because all the people who run the empire are taught from childhood the benefits of the flame god and the despair they will experience if they are opposed to him.
History has proven this. A country with a track record of six generations of super strength that burns even countries to the ground would never make such a bad move.
“… Well, that aside, I agree that Lute-sama’s magic is strange.”
“Hmm? Why is that, Azure-dono?”
“No. The flame god can freely manipulate flames, but he doesn’t have as many applications as Lute-sama does…”
“That’s either because they simply don’t use it, or they don’t make you aware of it. What the demi-gods controls is a vague thing called “concept. The application of the concept is unlimited depending on the user’s perception. Depending on how you interpret it, it can be used in an infinite number of ways.”
As a matter of fact, Lute manipulates the concept of “freezing”, but his power is not limited to physical freezing. His object is vague things such as human perception. He can manipulate ice at will, based on the expanded interpretation that if he can manipulate freezing, he can manipulate “ice” as well. By interpreting “freezing” to mean “stopping,” he is able to stop the movement of all things…….The fear of the demi-gods is not only their simple power, but also the fact that they have an unlimited number of cards in their hands.
“Well, anyway. Let’s put that kind of complicated talk aside for the time being. Let’s cook him first.”
Saying that, Lute raised the muscled duck that is now completely naked.