Using the pretext of goodwill from Theo winning the duel, the Andras Empire was forced to sit at the negotiating table in an unfavourable position. It wasn't just because Rebecca had been defeated by Theodore. After it was revealed that Lloyd Pollan had snuck away from the dinner party, the delegation was forced to bow their heads in apology to Meltor for the trouble they had caused.
Four days later, the new agreement between the two countries was settled.
"Then I will check the final version." Meltor's chief delegate, Karlov, read through the new agreement slowly. "Both Andras and Meltor have extended the deadline of the existing armistice agreement to 10 years from now. Furthermore, Andras will transfer the Purth, Begul, and Hergen estates to the Meltor side of the border. Additionally, the management of the three iron mines and one gold mine, of which the ownership is unclear, shall be taken over by the estates concerned. The ratio of tariffs…"
The dozens of great and trivial clauses were read in a loud voice, with none of them in favor of the Andras Empire. The longer his voice continued, the more the faces of the delegation wrinkled. No, the Meltor side was inwardly grinning as they looked at those crumpled faces.
How many opportunities would they get to negotiate a favourable deal with Andras, the strongest military power on the northern continent? In Meltor's long history, it was a rare case which couldn't even be counted on five fingers.
Karlov continued for nearly 10 minutes before stopping.
"It is accurate. The Andras Empire agrees with Meltor's proposal and will extend the armistice agreement with such conditions." The surprising thing was Pan Helliones' reaction. He accepted the agreement, which was disadvantageous for his country, without any objections.
Meltor had prepared many countermeasures in case the empire refused, so they couldn't help being taken aback by the easy agreement. However, as a result, Meltor had obtained what it wanted.
Having lost the excuse of negotiations, the delegation was forced to leave the capital city of Mana-vil six days after arriving.
* * *
'Six days is really too quick.'
Theodore laid down the book he was reading and looked at the delegation moving through the gates.
It was a sight which could only be seen from the highest buildings in Mana-vil, the tall magic towers. He looked at someone using 'Hawkeye,' but unfortunately, she still wasn't recovered enough to use a horse.
'If she really was riding, then I would be more scared.'
Afterall, she had received five Shock Impacts from a close distance without dodging.
Theo looked at the bandage which was still wrapped around his forearm. He knew that aura was excellent for defense, but the defensive power of a skilled knight was beyond imagination. He didn't use all his power, but only a few of her ribs were broken?
If it hadn't been a situation where most of the aura had been deflected, it might not have ended with just a scratch on his arm.
A day would come when he would feel the attack power of an aura user again. If they reunited someday, Rebecca would be several times more terrible than she was now. There was no spare room for Theo to enjoy the short victory.
In the past six months, many nobles had tried to court him which was why he hid in the library.
"…It should be okay if I move." Theo moved his arms several times and gradually loosened the bandage wound from his wrist to his elbow.
Fortunately, the skin beneath it was neat, and there was just a single trace of a scar. According to the healer's advice, it was still too early for strenuous exercise, but Theo could move it. Thus, Theodore moved his body lightly while reading a book.
"Theodore! Theodore Miller!" Somebody's voice rang out in the hallway.
Theo responded to the call by raising his body. "Yes, did something happen?"
"Ah, here you are! I am Andy from the Magic Society. I have been directed to bring Theodore to the society's main office."
"The society's main office?" Theo asked with a strange expression.
It was at the top of the central magic tower and was a room which magicians normally didn't have access to in their lifetime. By default, tasks were solved by the four towers, and the society just handled the legal procedures. The society's president was normally the only one in the room.
"Yes, the president of the Magic Society called you directly. He wants you to come as soon as you can."
"Well, I understand. I'll go straight away."
The Magic Society's library was located at a fairly high level. Theo had to climb up several floors from this library, so he put the book away. Then he started walking behind the messenger, Andy. The office wasn't far away, so the two people stopped in front of a door after five minutes.
As always, Theo was soon left alone. He then touched the society office's door carefully. The door was lighter than it looked, and a soft light shone from inside the office.
"Oh, you came," the old man he'd seen at the gathering last time, the president of the society, greeted Theo in a pleasant voice.
Veronica waved from where she was standing beside him. Theodore stepped forward and bowed. Neither of them were people he could treat comfortably.
"Red Magic Tower's Superior, Theodor Miller greets the President and Tower Master."
"It is good to see you. Sorry for my sudden call but there is something that we need to do."
"It's okay. I was just finishing what I was doing."
"Then I'm glad. Now, sit down."
Theo took one step further at the words.
"Ah?" However, he was shocked to see something behind them. No, it was more accurate to say that he freaked out.
The shape of the 'thing' which appeared in the soft lighting was so shocking that he almost reflexively shot out a Magic Bullet. Maybe he didn't feel its presence because it wasn't a living creature? It looked like a statue of a bald troll.
'A statue, a statue.' Either way, it wasn't a decoration that the Magic Society would place in its office. The dynamic nature of the awful appearance made it seem like the troll could come alive at any moment.
However, as the surprised Theodore sat down in a chair, the two people didn't explain what he was seeing.
The president of the Magic Society opened his mouth with a wry smile, "The work this time turned out really well. I didn't think the people of Andras would accept the proposal. You were the high elf's escort, and you're now the main contributor of this agreement."
"You're overpraising me."
"No, not at all. Don't you know it yourself? The reason why I called you here."
Frankly, he did have an idea. "A reward, isn't it?"
The president's mouth stretched widely at Theo's hesitant answer. "Correct. His Majesty and I discussed it with the tower masters and decided to give you a reward. The problem is that it is still top secret, so there will be a lot of controversy if we award it externally."
"Keep this in mind. It is an item not even known in the Yellow Tower except for me and the tower masters. Therefore, you won't be able to avoid punishment if the information leaks."
The president tried to warn him, but the listening Veronica immediately cut off his words. "Old Man, why are you trying to scare the kid? We decided to give him the reward, so we will take responsibility."
"No, it is still…"
"Kid, you know this much, don't you?" Veronica cut the old man off again and grinned at Theodore.
Theo nodded hurriedly, and the president swallowed his words. He wanted to grumble about people not respecting the elderly these days, but it would seem like he was bullying a pretty girl. More than anything else, he wasn't the senior in this place.
[From there, can I explain?]
At that time, a scraping sound like wood being scratched resonated through the room. The president and Veronica didn't react much, but Theodore instinctively sprung up from his chair. The flowing voice irritated his nerves.
Theo moved 10 meters away from the direction of the sound, then he looked at the source. Once he saw it, an absurd expression appeared on his face. "…The statue, it spoke?"
It was as he said. The bald-headed troll-like statue was moving like a living creature. It rubbed its neck several times before sitting down on the floor. Then the eyeballs carved of stone stared at Theo and it started laughing.
[Kuha, ha, surprised? Long time, see, reaction.]
Of course, Theo was surprised. Even the legendary gargoyles didn't flap their wings like they were real. The same went for golems created by ancient magicians and dwarves combining their strength. They moved roughly like dolls and exerted a powerful destructive strength. That strength was wonderful, but there were no records of any golems which acted like real people.
The bald troll transcended modern magic. However, it didn't transcend the laws of physics.
Veronica couldn't stand the jarring laughter and kicked the bald troll in the shins. The statue was half-crushed by the blow and thrown to the floor of the office, cutting off its laughter. In many ways, it was an unusual situation.
Veronica spoke with her foot on the statue, "Didn't I tell you a few times not to laugh out loud, you gremlin? Don't scare the kid."
[This, strength, old lizard…!]
"What?" A vein throbbed on her forehead as she shouted and moved her feet a few more times.
One hit and then two hits to the arms and legs. The statue was beaten up and had no limbs. Veronica's kick could smash a heavy door, so even the statue which was beyond modern magic couldn't withstand it.
The president sighed heavily at the sight and looked at Theodore. Maybe he had seen this sight a few times.
Theo looked at his attitude and asked carefully, "President, that statue…?"
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"Hmm, I didn't want to do the introductions in this messy situation, but it can't be helped." The president pointed to the statue which had been turned to scrap metal. "As you can see, that statue is extraordinary. The way it moves and the materials it is made up of are unidentified. It is an unknown golem that only a 7th Circle magician can control."
This was one of the undiscovered mysteries of the magic towers.
"Yellow Tower Master Norden… He is controlling that statue."