The Principle of a Philosopher by Eternal Fool “Asley”

The Principle of a Philosopher by Eternal Fool “Asley” – Chapter 336, Ishtar of the Black

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Translator: Barnnn

 

I reapplied Invisible Illusion to everyone, and then we resumed on our way to the north-east tower.

 

[“You know, Asley, you can be pretty damn absurd sometimes!”]

[“Uh, what?”]

 

Why’d Bruce say something like that all of a sudden?

 

[“I mean, you just kidnapped two of the Six Braves — just because the situation called for it! Who would’ve expected that?”]

 

Right, I did throw Catherine and Jacob into the Storeroom after we knocked them out.

We couldn’t just leave them back there — They would still be hostile and cause trouble for us later.

And so, to be perfectly safe, ‘kidnapping’ them shouldn’t be a problem… right?

I mean, I could see them being used by the Devilkin and then disposed of after they outlived their usefulness, too…

 

[“Here we are.”]

 

We had gone up the stairs from earlier, then through the corridor leading outside, where we ran on for a few dozen meters.

And now, finally, we’re right in front of the entrance of the north-east tower.

 

[“…No guards?”]

[“Looks like no one’s behind the door, either.”]

[“No, that’s not right…”]

 

I interrupted Bruce and Betty, and slowly looked up at the tower.

 

[“I can sense a little bit of arcane energy on the top floor.”]

 

Bruce unlocked the door and slowly, carefully opened it.

Seeing that there was indeed no one on the other side, we all let out a sigh of relief.

What welcomed us instead was a long spiral staircase.

We sighed again and proceeded to climb the stairs, all the while minimizing the sounds of our footsteps.

There’s no one guarding the stairs, either.

In the end, it didn’t take too long for us to reach the top floor.

 

[“That was too easy, don’t you think?”]

[“That’s a… reasonable comment, coming from you, brother.”]

 

Hearing the siblings’ opinions, I turned around to Lylia.

But Lylia only looked back at me, her eyes like a warrior ready to fight.

…Okay, no choice but to take the plunge, then.

 

[“See if you can unlock this, Bruce.”]

[“Got it.”]

 

Bruce unlocked the door without difficulty and slowly opened it.

My shoulders have been feeling heavy for a few moments now, like Pochi’s been clinging to them… Oh, she is.

Behind the door is a rather spacious, extravagantly decorated room.

But it doesn’t seem like anyone is here.

 

[“Strange. I was sure that I sensed a source or arcane energy from outside.”]

[“Looks like we gotta do some searching– Huh?”]

 

Stepping into the room, Bruce then stopped — for good reason.

Because Lylia went in ahead of him and drew her sword. Then Blazer readied his weapon as well.

The rest of us followed suit, with me holding up my staff, while Bruce and Betty got their weapons out.

Pochi bared her fangs, and we proceeded to stand in a circle formation, our backs against one another’s.

 

“Asley, cast a dispel on Invisible Illusion. Cover the whole room.”

“…!”

 

As soon as Lylia said that, I released an instantaneous burst of arcane energy, disengaging all allies’ Invisible Illusion.

And then, as I was told, I cast a Magic Net over the entire room.

The Invisible Illusion is a spell that only hides one’s physical visibility. It could be easily dispelled via contact with even a minute amount of interfering arcane energy.

That’s right. It was wishful thinking that the enemy would not use it as well.

 

“The air reeks of wild beasts.”

“”!?””

 

With the Invisible Illusion dispelled, a person in a jet-black robe appeared in front of us.

Their voice was very neutral — neither high nor low, and sounded hoarse.

Still, it’s strange…

 

“Those two fools downstairs were as useless as I had expected.”

 

I might have felt this aura before…

 

“Who are you?”

 

Blazer asked, prompting the person to laugh.

 

“Ahahaha… Intruders — Do you think I am obligated to answer your questions? Though I must say, you are amusing for a piece of trash. Hahaha…”

 

Good God, how condescending.

It’s like… they genuinely do think of people as trash.

 

“Hmph. We’re here to see Vaas. Where is he?”

 

Lylia’s question prompted them to stop laughing, their crimson eyes under their hood glaring back at her.

 

“After all this time, you still have not learned your manners, have you, Lylia?”

“…Very funny. How do you know my name?”

 

Lylia’s inducing her sword with energy.

 

“And you there — I remember you, Poer. Or should I say… Asley? Your face and your irreverent attitude, I will never forget…!”

 

We’ve met before. Where, I don’t know — but it was back in the era of antiquity.

 

“…Heh! Fine, don’t introduce yourself, but I’mma guess who you are! You’re Ishtar, aren’t you!?”

 

Bruce said, pointing his sword at them.

 

“I am, indeed.”

 

Ishtar of the Black.

The one who manipulated Maüs of the Laughing Foxes, Billy’s leader. 

And one of the top authorities of the Black and White Chain.

 

“What good timing — I was just thinking about renovating this tower. Perhaps I ought to destroy it now…”

 

Ishtar said as she looked around the room.

Then she pointed her right hand at Bruce– No!

 

“Bruce! Watch out!”

“W-what– WHOA!?”

 

In an instant, Bruce was blown away; he smashed right through the wall and fell outside.

He did manage to defend himself in time, fortunately, but the sheer force of the arcane energy burst meant he could not avoid the impact.

 

“Gah–!?”

“What the–!?”

 

Blazer and Betty were then blown away right after him.

Now this upper section of the tower is in shambles.

 

“God damn it!”

 

Bruce’s swearing could be heard echoing from downstairs.

…Looks like he’s managed to stay alive and kicking.

 

“Cleath, keep them busy.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

 

Cleath, who had appeared behind me before I noticed, jumped down from the tower.

 

“Billy.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

 

And now Billy is here, too, appearing at Ishtar’s side.

His face is covered with a large burn mark. Is that somehow unfixable even with his healing magic?

 

“Which one would you like?”

“As much as I’d like to dissect and study Asley’s body… I am more interested in bagging myself a live Elf specimen.”

“Sir Billy…”

 

Pochi seemed hurt — disillusioned, even, as she looked at Billy, but the guy was wholly unconcerned as he pushed up his glasses.

 

“Well then, it seems that I must fight this Billy man.”

“Watch out — he can boost his powers by transforming into a Devil.”

“Hmph, too late for that warning now, boy… DEVIL CONQUEST! HAH!!”

 

What the–!?

Did he have a Craft Circle ready before we got here!?

Immediately following, I felt a huge burst of arcane energy at the bottom of the tower.

 

“Damn it–! Pochi, go help those three!”

“Yes, sir!”

 

Cleath must have done his Devil transformation just now, downstairs.

 

“It’d be interesting to try and consume an Elf’s flesh, too…”

“If you think you have a chance against me now… you are sorely mistaken!”

 

And so the Devil-transformed Billy and berserk Lylia took their fight downstairs.

…Leaving just me and Ishtar up here.

 

“Hehehe… You must have been relieved to dispel that Spell Circle in the east building, thinking things would be smooth from there. Oh, so naive.”

“What?”

“Gaspard’s surveillance spell reaches all corners of the Royal Capital. We have known of your plans the moment you entered this city.”

 

H-how does he even make a Spell Circle THAT big!?

 

“Wait… you mean–!?”

“Are you sure you want to be pondering such things now?”

 

The next moment, Ishtar released a burst of arcane energy.

 

“Good God, your power is off the charts!”

“Hehehe… Still too calm! You are not taking me seriously enough!”

 

Well, shit.

What I can do now is restrict Ishtar’s movements… and then hopefully I can knock her out.

Gotta follow Tūs’ advice and fight without worrying about using up all my arcane energy.

 

“Gah–!”

“Hmph, you are strong. However! I have gone beyond the limits of the Devilkin — you can never defeat me! KAHHHHHH!!”

 

As soon as she shouted out, Ishtar tore off her jet-black robe, and her body expanded — and morphed into the form of the Devilkin.

 

“You… transformed without casting the magecraft!? How!? Were you already a Devil — Wait, no! You must have induced your body with the state of Ultimate Limit–!”

“Indeed, I have.”

 

Still, her Devil form seems… different from all the other Devils I’ve seen in the past.

It’s like the body has… feminine curves?

Wait a second… What did Ishtar first say when we stepped into this room?

 

–The air reeks of wild beasts.

 

I’ve heard that before, in the era of antiquity. But when exactly?

C’mon, remember, Asley. What else did I hear at that time?

 

“You have committed the crime of mocking me — Do not expect it to be forgotten so easily.”

 

Me? Mocked her? When? Where?

 

–Too much excess dust. Not enough light. The air reeks of wild beasts.

 

–It is most unsuitable for the breathing. Resolve this issue immediately.

 

That’s it… That’s when!

When Pochi participated in the Familiar Chalice, a certain woman visited us — she was the one who said those words.

I’ve deliberately acted defiant toward her, in an attempt to provoke her… and hide the tricks up my sleeve.

Right. Now I remember.

Ishtar… she’s THAT woman who disappeared amidst the chaos of the Bathym incident.

 

“…Empress Idïa…”

 



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