The moment the Night Wolf topples over, another wolf jumps from behind it.
I face it while I form the magic blade on my left hand, ready to counterattack.
But before it’s in range of my magic blade, Danny’s sword strikes it down.

“Heheh, I can also help a bit.”
But try to stay focused, or you might get roughed up again.”
“Damn, relax a little.”

I still think the only reason I won against him was that he let his guard down.
While he’s skilled, he never noticed I’m a magic automaton, and seeing a severed arm was enough to distress him.

Ophelia had also said that I could win if I used every tool at my disposal, though by that logic, I wouldn’t have won without a surprise attack.

“I know you’re skilled enough.
Just be careful to not let them get too close.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment, then!”

I prepare to attack another monster while I watch Danny’s movements.
I can’t get myself to like him, but I could learn a thing or two from his movements and sense of battle.
I’ll take anything I can get.

The light seemed to shatter as the last barrier was destroyed.
The Sorcery Core was left exposed.

“I’m done.
I’ll let you disassemble it.”
“Yes, don’t worry.”

The guards’ magicians used their tools to examine the contents of the Sorcery Core.
Ophelia watched them work from a distance, wiping off a drop of sweat that formed on her forehead.

“So even you can sweat.”
“What do you think I am?”

The divisional officer knew how powerful Ophelia was, so he had not expected the task to be so strenuous on her.
She started with the sun overhead, but it had already set beyond the horizon now.

“Either way, there were a total of sixteen intermediate level spells contained, including those controlling it.”
“Did I hear that right? Sixteen intermediate level spells?”
“Yes, that’s what I just said.”

Intermediate defensive spells were even stronger than the outer walls protecting Bamel.
Being able to stack sixteen of those meant that the creator of the Sorcery Core was at least as powerful as a rank A adventurer.

“I’m sure a B rank adventurer has the skills necessary to do that too, given enough time.”
“Maybe you’re right, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive.”

The divisional officer felt like the stamina and patience necessary for that were too extreme for a human to handle, but then he recalled that the sorceress in black clothes he was talking to lacked some common sense too.

“Sir, the disassembly is done.”

Hearing the magician, the officer turned his attention that way again.

“Good job, what did you find?”

The magician that had watched Ophelia work with such interest earlier, looked pale and sick now.

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“I’m sorry, it’s just…I thought I was used to seeing things like that, being a magician and a defender of the city, but this is…”

The magician took a step to the side, revealing the table with the dismantled Sorcery Core.
When the divisional officer saw it, he had to take a deep breath.

“Wait, is that…”

Magic could be used to harm people, take their lives even.
The research of magic had long been tainted with blood.
The guards were an organization to protect and defend the city.
At times deterring violence, or pursuing murderers.
But this was something that both the magician and the divisional officer did not see often, nor wanted to see.

“Well…at least that explains why it was so heavily protected.”

Ophelia’s voice was calm and cold, as she looked at the heart concealed inside the Sorcery Core.
A heart, bloody and real.
Not metaphorical, but the organ, stuffed inside the core.

“It has to be a monster’s heart, right?”
“No, I identified with magic already.
It’s an elf’s.”

The divisional hopes were dashed as the magician looked away while shaking his head.

“I don’t know much about this topic, but are hearts a useful material for magicians?”
“If it’s a monster that can use more than intermediate magic it can be incredibly valuable.”
“…And a human’s?”
“Elven ones are the most powerful.”

Hearing Ophelia’s reply, the divisional officer punched a wall.

“We have to stop whoever made this.
Grog has to be arrested no matter what.”

The officer gritted his teeth as he said that, and then the door was slammed open and a guard rushed into the room.

“Sir, something bad happened!”
“I told you to not enter without permission!”

He had ordered that no one should disturb his room until the examination of the Sorcery Core was done.
Having his order disobeyed, coupled with the earlier shock, made him lose his cool and snap at the guard.

“It’s an urgent matter, sir! The third and fourth divisions are requesting reinforcements!”

But the guard was unbothered, reporting with a firm voice.
The officer’s complexion changed.

“What happened?”
“Golems! Two large golems are running wild in the town center!”

Everyone in the room had the same thought.

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“Did Grog do that?”

Whether as a distraction to flee, or to cause more harm to Mir’s father, Grog was the main suspect for attacking the town with this timing.

“Gather all our guards!”
“I’ve already called for them!”

The officer’s guards knew how to respond to such a situation without being told, but it was not enough to placate the officer’s anger.

“If the golems were also made with similar Sorcery Cores, it’s easy to imagine the rest of the materials are grade C+ or better.
Also, are you sure it’s safe to divert that many guards away from the gates?”
“But we have no other choice.
We’ll also place an emergency request in the guild though.”
“You really take too long to catch on, don’t you.
If those golems were released by Grog, then this is also happening because I came to complain about him.”

The officer was about to leave the room, but turned around hearing that.

“Can we count on you then?”
“Even if you didn’t ask.”

The divisional officer still could not understand why Ophelia was so interested in this specific case.
But the lives of the citizens were more important than her reasons, and his pride as a guard, so he would never refuse her help.

“Alright, thanks for offering your help.
Keep the town safe.”

Ophelia gave a short reply and opened the window.

“Oh right, if those golems are Grog’s, then I’m sure they are some sort of diversion.”
“So he’s using the chaos to make his escape?”
“That’s what I would use it for, but who really knows about him.”

Leaving those words behind, Ophelia sat on her beloved staff and flew into the air through the open window.
The sky was already dark, making her black clothes easily meld into the dark sky.

The divisional officer rushed out of the room too, going to accomplish his duty.

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