Chapter 189

“Why is there a fire all of a sudden…!”

The flustered crown prince hesitated. He pictured Yelena’s face in his head.

‘Could it be?’

“Follow me!”

The crown prince hastily made his way towards the source of the smoke.

‘Is she trying to grab the monsters’ attention with the fire?’

The knights took the lead to clear out dense bushes and make a path for the crown prince. The crown prince ran through the path made by the knights and scowled.

‘She’s going to such lengths to gather and exterminate the monsters? That fool…!’

They weren’t just anywhere—they were in the mountains. It was clear that once the fire started to spread, it would be uncontrollable.

“Monsters!”

“Attack them from both sides and seize them!”

The crown prince ran into two monsters along the path he was going down. The five knights attacked them from both sides and swiftly cut off their heads.

A little while after, they reached the source of the smoke. But what they witnessed wasn’t what they had pictured as they made their way over.

Well, it was, but…

“Two monsters at three o’clock,” Aendydn said calmly. Kaywhin immediately drew his bow.

Thwack! Stab!

“Um, one monster approaching at seven o’clock.”

Stab!

“W-what is going on…”

Crown Prince Bartèze blinked, utterly flummoxed.

There was a fire. A huge fire blazed in front of the crown prince.

However, unlike what he had been worried about, it didn’t seem as if the fire had any chance of spreading because water was flowing in a circle around the flames.

It was then that Yelena noticed the stunned crown prince. She grinned.

‘Heh.’

This had been Yelena’s plan: first, use a fire spirit to set a monster’s corpse on fire. Then, use a water spirit to prevent the fire from spreading all around.

‘And then, use a wind spirit to spread the fog as far out as possible.’

Monsters swarmed endlessly in reaction to the smell of a fellow monster’s corpse burning, just as Yelena had predicted.

And the last step: have Aendydn, who could see across vast distances with the wind spirit, inform Kaywhin every time a monster was approaching.

“Six o’clock…”

Thwack! Stab!

“…Your Excellency, let me ask you this. In truth, you’re able to see them coming before I even tell you, right?”

“My eyesight isn’t too bad.”

“Wow.”

‘It’s not like we’re on a flat meadow. We’re in such a dense mountain thicket… I’m sure not even beasts have such good eyesight.’

Or perhaps the duke was able to sense the monsters, rather than actually see them? Whatever the case, it was difficult to call him ordinary. Aendydn marveled at him internally.

Kaywhin shot the monsters down with arrows before they even entered Yelena’s field of vision. And thanks to him, only the count’s servants were busily scrambling about.

“Huff, huff. Please, catch them a little slower!”

“The knife is sharpening just from cutting all these ears off!”

The servants from Count Morgana’s castle looked like they were about to cry. At this rate, their legs and the sacks that held the monsters’ ears were about to break.

“What, how…!”

Soon after, the crown prince grasped the situation. His voice came out trembling.

“Unbelievable!”

For a moment, the crown prince lost all rationality. He took off his outer garment and ran towards the fire, as if he planned on putting it out with his clothes.

However, it was no ordinary fire, as it had been ignited by a fire spirit. The fire grew bigger as if it had been waiting, stopping the crown prince from getting closer.

“…!”

The crown prince faltered back from the enlarged fire. Yelena opened her mouth upon seeing the desperate look on his face. She spoke like she had all the time in the world.

“Shall we continue?”

***

The crown prince desperately tried his best in his own way, but there was no way he could catch up with Kaywhin, who was handling the monsters in droves.

At one point, he even tried to intercept the monsters, but to no avail. Kaywhin’s arrows were swift and precise, much more so than the swords of the elite palace knights the crown prince had brought with him.

“I will never forget this.”

Those were Crown Prince Bartèze’s last words before he disappeared, shaking in humiliation. He had left surprisingly without a fuss, perhaps because of the contract. Yelena chortled.

‘Do whatever you want.’

She was dumbfounded at how the crown prince had spat those words as if they were a tremendous threat. Nonetheless, there was one thing that Yelena had been satisfied by: the looks on the faces of the palace knights who had participated in the monster extermination.

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