when food was close by?

     Furthermore, thanks to the villagers’ hard work in clearing the snow away, their caravan was rescued.
Of course they would, as humans, want to show their appreciation.
Moreover, it was best that they did all they could to soothe the grieving residents who were searching for targets to direct their anger.

      In a beseeching voice, the merchant continued, “If we do well, we’ll probably be able to scrounge around 220 cells…”

      Ayra automatically sighed; almost half had flown away.
At least he had obtained around 100 cells worth of Mana stones thanks to Janus.
He calmed the merchants, who were on the verge of weeping due to anxiety.
“Don’t worry too much and rest well, for now.” Then, the young lord moved onto the last matter on his to-do list.

     They said that the mage, who collapsed from Ayra’s magic, had withdrawn to one of the inn’s rooms to rest.
As soon as the young lord opened the door and entered, the mage flinched and jumped up immediately.
Even though Ayra deliberately smiled kindly, the mage’s frightened eyes trembled, darting gazes here and there.

     “Hello, did you rest well? I’ve come to talk to you…” Ayra started.

     “Heek! Y-You’re a Labyrinth mage, right?! Get out of my room right now!”

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     ‘Hmm… Perhaps I didn’t have to be so polite…’ Ayra closed the door and approached.

     The mage rolled his eyes around as if he were searching for an escape route.
“W-W-What are you scheming, now?!”

     “What have I done? I’ve saved you from the citizens here.”

     “You did something! You did! I couldn’t speak nor walk properly! Do you know how scary that was?!”

      Ayra had merely switched around his senses for a moment, ‘For a mage, he’s quite prone to exaggerating his hurts.’ The young lord sent him a contemptful stare and folded his arms across his chest.
He was tired and wanted to end this conversation quickly.
But, it didn’t seem like the other wanted to begin this conversation.
Ayra flicked his finger.
      After using magic to paralyze the man’s vocal cords for about a minute, Ayra thought the exhausted mage had calmed down a little and released the man.

      He wept, “Hnngh, I hate you Labyrthing people… you insane folk… What do you want from me!”

        This world’s mages were divided into two categories–those that wanted to enter the Labyrinth and those that want to escape.
Ayra couldn’t quite understand why, but there were more people in the latter category.
If a group of child mages was taken to the labyrinth and were sincerely educated in magic, a few years later around seven or eight out of ten will escape without fully learning basic magic.
The mage before him was clearly part of the latter category.

     Just in case, the young lord checked his affection rating with the man–it was -15.

     ‘So, affection values could go into the negative…?’

     “I’m not going to do anything to you.
I just wanted to ask you something.” Despite Ayra’s kind tone, the mage still gave him a wary look and curled up to protect his body.
Regardless, the man could still answer him so Ayra questioned, “Was there anything strange that happened when the landslide occurred?”

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     “Something strange?”

     “I don’t know if you know this, but there’s recently been two landslides in this region.
I observed the area and found suspicious traces left behind.”

        The mage’s gaze changed at Ayra’s words.
Unlike ordinary people, mages could detect traces of mana movement–just like how this mage and Ayra had noticed each other’s true identity when they had magically crushed through the frozen soil.

       “It was definitely…weird.
There was a sudden lightning strike before the landslide occurred.
But, the sky was cloudless… Are you saying some bastard set off this landslide deliberately?” The mage clenched his fist as he recalled these hard past few days where he had maintained the protective shield with great difficulty.

       Ayra interrogated further, but it seemed like the man knew nothing else.
Now that he had gotten the information he wanted, Ayra looked back and, before he left the room, kindly warned, “Ah right.
If you divulge this conversation or the fact that I’m a mage to others, you’ll have a hard time speaking for the foreseeable future.”

     “I won’t tell anyone! Alright? I won’t! Go away!”

     Leaving the jumping mad mage behind, Ayra continued on his way again.
For now, he had finished his work for the day.
He endured the desire to lie down on any random bed in a room and left the inn.
Ayra’s exhausted feet were leading him to yet another inn in this village.

     ‘Honestly, who in hell is causing this mess?’

      Whoever it was, it was clear that person intended to isolate Solar.
Judging from their ability to cause landslides, the person must be a mage or someone who could hire a mage… Someone like that would definitely be able to disguise the assassination of the Lord’s family as an accident.
Was this unidentified enemy trying to pick away at Solar, destroying this territory slowly? Ayra’s eyes adopted a chilly gleam.

      However, his weary eyelids drooped and he soon yawned.
Ayra was had enough of this avalanche, landslide business.
Not just the avalanche–he was now tired of snow as well.

      Good lord…and when he returns to his castle, it’ll soon start snowing there as well.

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