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Chapter 35.5 – Path Crossed
Palmer, who repeatedly plundered the Borghardt Kingdom, continued to advance in parallel with the main army of the Carling Empire. Since he could already see victory, Palmer let his guard down and was late to recognize the enemy’s sudden attack. By the time he realized it, the sword was already on its path towards him.
Cornelia, who was right next to Palmer, drew her sword and parried the incoming weapon to protect Palmer. However, Cornelia was suddenly overwhelmed by a man’s imposing physique and was knocked several meters away along with Palmer in her arms.
“Ooh! Just as I heard about an idiot aristocrat who marched all the way here, I didn’t think it’d be my little brother. You sure have grown big now!”
The large man on horseback who knocked Cornelia over saw Palmer and called him ‘little brother.’ At those words, Cornelia realized that she was facing Alfred, the king of the Borghardt Kingdom.
“You definitely attacked knowing it was me. You have a bad personality, as usual.”
Palmer, who was thrown back with Cornelia, glared at Alfred as he brushed off his clothes. At the same time, the women around Alfred moved to surround Palmer and Cornelia.
“Don’t look at Alfred-sama like that!”
Then, a woman in a maid uniform, who stood closest to Palmer, rushed at him. Judging by her speed, Cornelia thought her to be a strong enemy, but Palmer just threw a black bullet at her.
Alfred’s maid tried to avoid it, but it still struck her shoulder. Upon contact, the bullet exploded and the maid collapsed.
The atmosphere suddenly tensed. As the people became even more wary, Palmer threw the second bullet at Alfred. Naturally, Alfred and the women in maid uniforms immediately jumped back. They had seen the earlier explosion, after all. However, the second black bullet just rolled on the ground and didn’t explode.
“A-hahahahah! That’s really funny. Hey, hey, why did you jump back? That’s a fake bullet, you know? You got fooled.”
Palmer made fun of Alfred’s group who jumped back to avoid the black bullet, but Alfred immediately realized it was a provocation. Alfred saw through it… but the surrounding maid squad didn’t. A maid who jumped back earlier rushed at Palmer.
With a dagger smeared with poison in hand, another maid beside Alfred closed the distance between her and Palmer. As she did, her legs exploded and she lost one of them.
“You got fooled again! There’s no way that it’s a fake bomb. And so, here’s some presents.”
The second black bullet exploded, thus, her leg did too. Palmer then scattered black bullets around him. Although it was smaller than before, the surrounding people knew the effect of the bomb and immediately put distance away from Palmer.
The maid squad changed their method of attack in various ways, like trying hit and run, or pincer attacks, but their legs exploded each time so they couldn’t get close. By the time they were in a sure deadlock, with almost little to no options of attack to spare, Alfred confirmed that Palmer’s slave soldiers were approaching.
As Alfred saw that, he realized he couldn’t continue the fight and asked Palmer something instead.
“Is that an invisible whip?”
Palmer answered with silence. He prepared a hard-to-see whip and detonated the scattered bombs with it. Seeing as Alfred managed to see through Palmer’s method in just a glance, Palmer congratulated Alfred in his mind.
“In that case!”
Upon hearing Alfred’s response, the maid squad tried to collect the black bullets at the same time so they couldn’t be detonated by his whip. While being wary of the invisible whip with their swords and spears, it happened when the maid squad picked up the remaining black bullets — Palmer embraced Cornelia and hit the ground.
“Wha—! Get down!”
Alfred quickly realized Palmer’s intentions and quickly ordered the maid squad to back down, but it was too late. The moment Palmer fell to the ground, the rest of the black bullets exploded all at once, annihilating the maid squad.
“Retreat! Hurry up!”
Receiving a more painful counterattack than he expected, Alfred immediately issued an order to retreat. Clouds of dust from the simultaneous explosions filled the air, making it difficult to see Palmer. Fortunately, while there were many who suffered major wounds, there were few fatalities, so Alfred proceeded to take the injured with him and focused on the retreat.
By the time the dust cleared, Palmer was no longer to be seen. In exchange, Palmer’s slave soldiers had drawn even closer, thus Alfred reflected that he shouldn’t have underestimated Palmer.
Meanwhile, Cornelia, who thought that she had managed to escape with her life, spoke to Palmer.
“That’s your brother, right? Can’t both of you get along better? To think that siblings would actually try to take each other’s lives…”
“Hah? He didn’t use his magic, and I also didn’t use my ace, you know? He just used his maid squad to make a casual attack on me this time, so I just made sure he suffered a bit. No more, no less.”
Cornelia expressed her pessimism over brothers trying to claim each other’s lives, but it didn’t resonate much with Palmer.
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