The Heroic Tale Of A Villainous Prince Chapter 46

Chapter 46: The Power Known as Magic
 

 
Running through the lush greenery, the girl chuckled to herself.
 
This forest was her playground. She had the confidence that here, she wouldn’t get caught even if she played tag with adults.
 
“Huff, huff… serves them right.”
 
A royal carriage. Surely, those were the people the adults had mentioned, the ones who came to purify the “land god.”
 
The royals had come all this way to help that “land god.” That was unforgivable.
 
“Anyone trying to help that ‘land god’…”
 
She muttered to herself, releasing the pent-up frustration in her chest.
 
The land god. Just thinking about its existence stirred up murky emotions in her chest, like simmering mud, swirling uncontrollably.
 
“……”
 
Her vision suddenly blurred. As she noticed the tears streaming down, she reflexively wiped them away, running desperately with her strengthened body thanks to “enhancement.”
 
By the time the overflowing tears subsided, she exhaled deeply,
 
sitting down on the steps of a moss-covered, ancient plaza.
 
Though called a ruin, it wasn’t anything significant. It was just a place with a few round pillars, some of them broken in half.
 
This ruin had apparently been here for much longer than anyone could remember, but no one knew what it was for.
 
People had been coming here in secret for magic practice or just to play for as long as she could remember. Going home afterward, getting scolded by her mother, and then her father chastising her—those were the usual scenes until the trouble with the “land god” started.
 
“Mom… Dad…”
 
She held back tears about to spill over, bending her body into a ‘k’ shape to contain the swelling emotions within herself.
 
“I found you, Nenel.”
 
“…!”
 
Startled by the voice, her shoulders tensed.
 
Wiping her face to hide the traces of tears, she turned toward the direction of the voice.
 
Arriving at their secret playground were several men.
 
In their mid-thirties, led by man named Morgan, they all directed worn-out, blade-like gazes toward her.
 
“Uncle Morgan.”
 
“You do well, right?”
 
Nenel understood Morgan’s implication without needing a detailed explanation, so she nodded slowly.
 
“Yeah, I did. Just like you said, I set up traps… and used magic to make them fall!”
 
“…Made them fall?”
 
Despite reporting her success, Morgan’s expression wasn’t pleased.
 
In fact, there was a hint of anger in it.
 
“You… made the carriage tilt… and then…?”
 
“Is that all?”
 
“That’s… all. But—”
 
With a sharp sound, like a slap, Nenel felt Morgan’s hand strike her cheek, causing her face to turn to the side and then fall to the ground, registering the sensation of swelling pain.
 
“This isn’t child’s play! I gave you a more powerful magic ring!
 
“But… if I used such a magic ring, the carriage would have been blown away…”
 
Instead of words, the second shock came as Morgan slammed her cheek again.
 
This time, it wasn’t a slap like before. It was a punch.
 
Feeling the warm, metallic taste of blood spreading in her mouth, Nenel could only stare in disbelief.
 
“That’s why… I told you to blow away the carriage!”
 
“Ah…!”
 
She was forcibly grabbed by the collar and lifted up.
 
Morgan’s eyes, seen up close, were filled with murderous intent, as if something black and murky would leap out at any moment.
 
“People trying to save the [Land God] deserve to be blown away…! Especially you, who have nothing but a talent for magic! Satisfied with such ridiculous pranks…! Ridiculous!”
 
“Ah…! Ugh…!”
 
The squeezing force gradually tightened. Despite struggling for air, Morgan wouldn’t relent.
 
“Quit… playing around…”
 

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Not even a whisper was heard… No, it wasn’t being heard.
 
In Morgan’s mind at that moment, there was nothing but the goal of killing the [Land God].
 
“Alright, this time, make it a success! Absolutely! Otherwise, what’s the point of talent? Even if it costs your life—ugh!?”
 
Fire erupted.
 
“Cough, cough… Ah…”
 
Released, air filled his lungs.
 
Just moments ago, it seemed Morgan was blown away by the [Flame Magic Sphere].
 
“I understand feeling frustrated with that kid, but this seems a bit much.”
 
Emerging from the bushes was a boy with black hair and black eyes.
 
“Cough. You are…”
 
“Geez… Hey, are you okay? What the heck just happened…”
 
“Pervert…”
 
“Hang in there, me… This isn’t the time to be worrying about some brat… Hang on, you’ve got to hold on…!”
 
The black-haired boy who had been on the carriage. Nenel felt quite shocked by his presence here.
 
She thought she had lost him. With all her might, using magic to propel herself, she had thought no one could catch up to her in this forest where she had spent so much time playing.
 
Yet, the black-haired boy wasn’t even out of breath, unlike Nenel who had struggled to get here.
 
And… that [Flame Magic Sphere] from earlier.
 
Being someone who used magic, Nenel understood its precision at a glance. It was a strike that combined delicacy and precision, blowing away only Morgan without involving Nenel who had been grabbed by the collar, and adjusting its power. A strike with both delicacy and precision.
 
At least, it was impossible for Nenel at this current level. And Nenel had enough talent to understand the system of his magic.
 
So, she understood. It was because she understood that she involuntarily admired his magic.
 
“Black hair, black eyes… Hey, could this guy be…?”
 
“The rumored… Third Prince!?”
 
The faces of the men turned pale. In contrast, the black-haired boy… the Third Prince, while casting a sharp gaze, casually stood in front of Nenel. His posture was completely different from the men who should have spent their time in the same territory. He felt no fear of [scary things].
 
“I thought it was a shoddy prank, but that’s what it is. Pushing dangerous task and magic rings onto children, while they themselves stay clean and watch from a distance… Those old men have quite the taste, huh?”
 
“……Shut up! Being a Royalty, What do you know about, huh!”
 
Beginning with Morgan’s voice, the men simultaneously conjured fireballs from the magic rings.
 
“Do it!”
 
“If we’ve been found out, then…!”
 
Perhaps due to the fear of their exposure by a royals, the fireballs unnaturally swelled.
 
In the eyes of those cornered, and amidst the unstable, rippling fireballs, a thought emerged: “We should just dispose of the girl.”
 
“Listen, you little brat.”
 
With that many fireballs, not even Nenel could defend against them. They would incinerated. Despite this, the young third prince remained surprisingly calm.
 
“Magic, you see, if you simply use it [alone], even a brat like you can wield its power. Even those amateurs, those old men, can handle it. It used to be that you needed a wand, and there were even those who used magic without one… But times have changed. Magic, condensed into the form of magic rings, has become remarkably accessible.”
 
The fireballs approached. Countless flames drew nearer. Yet, the third prince remained unfazed.
 
“That’s why you mustn’t misuse it.”
 
Those words triggered a flashback of memories.
 
When praised for her magical talent by the lord’s daughter, her parents were delighted. They were also worried, and they offered the same advice.
 
—-Nenel. It’s wonderful to have talent. But…
 
—-You mustn’t misuse that power.
 
Those words from her parents, whom she could no longer hear, were likely not intended to be heard.
 
That third prince probably knew nothing of Nenel’s parents, who were killed by the [land god].
 
But both the hands placed on her head and the words spoken to her… reminded Nenel of her parents. It was terribly sad. It felt like an irreparable loss had been dredged up.
 
Eventually, light shone from the third prince’s fingers. Reflected in Nenel’s eyes was a pitch-black night sky.
 
“[Flame Magic Arrow].”
 
Lights twinkled like scattered stars in the night sky.
 
Then, arrows of flame surged from the boy like a meteor shower, piercing through all the ugly fireballs released in an instant.
 
“Hii!?”
 
“O-Our magic was… gone in an instant!”
 
“W-What’s going on!?””What happened!?”
 
Morgan and the others trembled in awe at the overwhelming power of the boy who had pierced through all their magic in an instant. Even they, slow as they were, seemed to realize. The difference between this black-haired boy and themselves was so vast that it wasn’t even a fight.
 
For them, it was surely a nightmare incarnate. But to Nenel, the boy’s power seemed different.
 
(—-Beautiful…)
 
It was barely comprehensible, but it still captivated her heart.
 
His magic, like shooting stars streaking across the night sky.


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