Chapter 217 Strongest Sage, Deactivates Trap
Dawn of the next day.
The four of us went to a forest outside the town.
We're going to sneak into enemy territory now.
『We're finally starting the infiltration.』
『This is better than when we were infiltrating Folkia that was full of demons, but it's still unnerving isn't it...』
『When pushes comes to shoves, you all can get on me, I'll take us away!』
We check on the infiltration route while conversing.
All conversations are through comm magic. We can't let anyone overheard us after all.
Ruli and Alma appear to be a bit tense, but they're not being overwhelmed by it. That's a good disposition to have.
Iris doesn't look concerned at all... Well, it's Iris after all, she's going to be fine.
Infiltrating is best done at dawn like this.
This is the time when everyone drops their guard down the most.
Once we get in, things would go smoothly from there.
After all, no one would walk up to you and ask, 『Are you really from this country?』 if you're just randomly walking around.
And that's exactly why the empire's national borders must have stricter security right about now.
『Mathi-kun, do you think we could go from the front?』
『...At present, I don't see any problem. We'll be retreating if it looks like they'll find us out.』
I asked Alma as I probed for mana around the border.
Among detection magic, there are some that are hard to elude.
If I find a reaction of such magic in my search, I plan to take a detour around the area to enter the empire.
The empire's border around this area probably has the strictest security considering battles take place here.
...But ideally we'd want to go through here if we want to find the dollmaster.
That's why it's worth an attempt even with the strict security.
As we progressed the forest while thinking that, I found a large amount of footprints on the ground.
The shape of shoe soles and sizes are all identical.
Shoes being identical isn't that weird in military, but when they're all the same size, these are probably not of humans.
These footprints must have been left behind by dolls.
『It's dolls' footprints... Alright, we're going after these.』
『...Won't these footprints lead to a trap, you sure we can just follow them?』
『I'm aware of that. There must be a trap somewhere, but the surer you are about a trap's existence, the easier avoiding it be.』
I follow after the footprints.
Since the dolls are heavier than humans, their footprints also last longer thus tracing these is a simple matter.
『These footprints keep going on...』
『Why aren't these hidden at all? If you put barrier on top of the ground as you walk, it would greatly reduce the traces wouldn't it? I think you'd usually want to do that much at least...』
Indeed, it's strange for the footprints to be this defined.
It's as if they're telling us to follow the track.
When it's this obvious, it makes you more wary of traps instead.
The reason why these footprints still got left behind despite that risk...
『It's probably because they're incapable of doing that.』
『Incapable of... You mean camouflaging? They only need to put barrier on the ground right?』
『Considering these dolls' heavy weight, even putting up barriers that could be stepped on by them would require a certain level of magic usable by these dolls.』
『...Shouldn't the person who could control so many dolls also have enough mana to do that much...?』
『That's only if that person controls these dolls themselves. With magic items, it's not hard at all to do stuff like controlling dolls. If the orders are limited to simple stuff like 『Charge ahead』, even ordinary people can do it.』
I continue following the footprint.
About 10 minutes later.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
『Isn't there a magic item buried over there?』
Ruli pointed at the ground dozens meter ahead.
『Yea, that's a trap. You three, wait there.』
I approached the trap afterward.
There's a magic item buried in the ground Ruli pointed out.
The magic item is buried 1 meter deep so it's not visible with naked eyes, but its mana reaction is quite obvious.
『Mathi-kun, is it ok to get that close? It's a trap right?』
『Wonder how big is the trap's range...』
『I'm already in the activation range. The detonator is using a modified version of 『Passive Detection』 so it won't be activated if I don't let my mana out.』
It's probably a trap that combines 『Passive Detection』 and explosion magic.
It's difficult to detect with the commonly used magic, yet has a relatively high performance, thus even in my previous life, this type of trap often got deployed.
I dug out a hole in the location of the magic item and took it out.
And then I covered it with another magic item that blocks out mana.
This type of magic items can be taken out without the risk of it exploding if you hold down your mana emission so it won't be detected by the 『Passive Detection』 set inside the item.
『Alright, it's clear now.』
『Got it! ...Is that the trap the enemy set up there?』
『...This mana feels demon-ish somehow...』
Ruli who got close after I told them that, murmured her impression once she saw the magic item.
She's correct, this mana comes from a demon.
『Yea. A demon made this trap no doubt... If you push the button inside this hole, 『Passive Detection』 will activate after a bit of time has passed.』
I point at the hole where the magic item was.
There's a small button inside, a magic circle is engraved on its surface.
Judging from the magic item's configuration, the 『Passive Detection』 probably gets activated about only 10 minutes after the button is pressed.
『...Why would they go out of their way to make such a mechanism? Wouldn't it be quicker to just activate the magic item by putting mana into it rather than making this button?』
『That applies to the one who creates this magic item sure. This magic item has been kindly designed so anyone with a stick or something could set up the trap by poking the button... This also means the dollmaster is almost definitely a sacrificial pawn.』
I put the magic item into Storage magic.
Looking at this, the dollmaster probably doesn't know have much info with them if at all.