A small sea dragon with a body made of water is floating outside the building, trying to get inside a certain room, but his effort is useless, as something else is preventing him from coming inside.
The small creature is quite intelligent, as he quickly understands the situation. It was very likely that a magical barrier was raised around the vicinity in order to prevent anyone from taking notice of the unfolding events inside the barrier.
Phyllo quickly dashed back—to report to his master.
In the meantime, the master of the small familiar is facing yet another obstacle—but it’s actually very predictable, with the path that they chose.
A group of thieves has appeared in front of them. The carriage driver was shivering in fear because he didn’t possess any single quality that could make him survive in front of danger. Cyan and Rupert casually stepped out of the carriage, not even bothering to put on grand disguises. Rupert was being himself—while Cyan simply manipulated his hair and eyes color to blue—in order to disguise his identity that’s way too easy to guess only by his real appearance.
The disguise he’s using right now, a man with a pair of sky blue eyes and a darker blue resembling the color of the deep sea—is a disguise that he’s been using a lot back in his youthful days. He’s been so used to it that he has no difficulty whatsoever in keeping that kind of appearance, regardless if it’s just an illusion or transformation.
The ignorant bunch of thieves didn’t seem to be a smart group—as they clearly overlooked the wide gap between their power.
“Rupert, let’s finish this quickly.”
There are around 9 thieves, all ganging up on the two spies, forming a circle. They are all grinning, thinking that these two men must be foolish enough not to surrender.
“Give up now, or you will regret,” said the most influential man among the thieves—seems like he’s the leader of the gang.
His merciful offer is greeted back with silence.
Actually—the ones running out ouf their luck are the thieves, not the other way round. But they couldn’t have imagined it. They are overwhelmed with the sense of victory and have already begun thinking about the items and amount of money they will gain.
Cyan and Rupert have positioned themselves in their combat position, ready to strike back whenever their opponents make their first moves.
The leader gritted his teeth in anger.
“Fine, let’s finish them off!” He commanded—and at the same time, all of the thieves are charging at Cyan and Rupert!
Four of them quickly targeted Rupert, while the other four targeted Cyan. Each of them is wielding a weapon—some are using knives, while some are using swords.
Rupert and Cyan also wielded their weapons—Cyan with his trusted scimitar, and Rupert with his dual katar.
A man was about to attack Rupert from his right side, but he quickly dodged it using his right katar—and simultaneously moved his left katar to block the upcoming slash in front of him. The other two men are ganging up from his left side, ready to attack him, thinking that he’s unable to dodge their attack as both of his hands are now preoccupied.
But Rupert was not foolish enough to not think of their plan ahead. Since the two men were approaching, he could see that their shadows, reflected by the beautiful bright moonlight, are overlapping. All he needed to do was to position his left foot and chant.[Sceadwian geweald, forsettan!]
In that instant, their movements are blocked. Rupert then lifted his right leg and kicked the man on his right, freeing his right katar, as he rapidly swung his right katar to the man in front of him. All this happened in the blink of an eye. Blood splattered from the man’s shoulders, as he was too late to realize what was going on.
This movement caused Rupert’s left foot to step away from the other two men’s shadows, causing them to quickly move in order to defeat him.
However, Rupert used his left elbow to hit one man’s chin, while his knee hit the man’s abdomen. The impact was so powerful that it caused him to fly in the air for a short moment, before his body fell back to the ground.
The other man tried to take advantage of this by swinging his knife towards Rupert—only for Rupert to dodge it sideways—making the knife lightly grazed his bang, cutting it a bit. He then rewarded the man’s attack with another attack using his katars, cutting through his limbs.
At the same time, Cyan also blocked the man in front of him with his scimitar, while extending his left hand to the two other rushing men.
In that instant, a swirling water appears above his left hand, rapidly getting bigger in size with furious movement, as it is approaching the two men on his left side. The swirling water finally approached the men as it formed a straight line of water with its tip forming the shape of a head—it’s as if there’s a dragon made of water.
The water in shape of a dragon quickly hits the two poor men with great speed, dragging the two men meters away from their previous location before the water evaporates. Needless to say that the impact was more than enough to cause them unconscious.
Cyan then swiftly let his scimitar back away from the thief’s sword, slightly causing the thief losing his balance to the front, becoming a bit wobbly. Cyan quickly slashed the man’s chest using his scimitar while dodging the fourth man’s upcoming dagger attack.
The fourth man still didn’t want to give up, so he stepped forward and aimed at Cyan’s chest again. Cyan quickly blocked it with his scimitar.
At that time, Phyllo appears in front of Cyan.
“Pi, piiii!!!” His voice indicated the danger he sensed.
“What?! Phyllo, quick, go to Cass and inform her!!” Cyan didn’t proceed to attack the fourth man, he only continued to hold him back with blocking his movement as he commanded Phyllo.
The little sea dragon quickly obeyed his master’s words without any hesitation. Even though he was being commanded to go here and there in quick succession, he didn’t show any sign of fatigue at all. He diligently does what he’s commanded to do.
His opponent felt upset because Cyan was ignoring him, so he balled his left fist and aimed at Cyan’s head, but Cyan brought his head downward in order to dodge the upcoming punch. The fourth man thought that Cyan wasn’t paying him any attention at all during when he communicated with his familiar, but Cyan’s used to dividing his attention.
Since the fourth man put all his power into his left fist, he lost his balance when the fist didn’t meet its target. Cyan then swung his scimitar to discard his opponent’s knife, purposely let go of his scimitar, and grabbed the target with his two arms. He made use of the man’s loss of balance and added to it, throwing the man’s body forcefully on the ground.
Seeing all his men falling down in such a short moment’s notice, the leader of the thieves dashed forward and pulled out his knives endowed in poison, swinging them at both Rupert and Cyan. The fact that he didn’t run away in fear was worthy of praise–he was indeed their leader! He dashed forward with a rapid speed, confident that he would be able to poison the two men who defeated his underlings.
At the same time, the last man whose body was thrown on the ground suddenly rose up again to assist his leader, ignoring all the pain that was running through his body.
Cyan sighed and made an eye contact with Rupert. Rupert only nodded a bit and then threw his body in front of Cyan, perfectly blocking the two poison knives using both of his katar. When the other man approached him, Rupert quickly used his leg to hit the man’s solar plexus.
The man howled in pain and took a few steps backwards.[Holm nicor!]
Another magic attack that formed a rushing water dragon approached the two thieves who just formed a nice row, and that marked the end of their battle. In the first place, there was a clear gap in their power. Too bad that none of the thieves could notice it.
“Vines, restrain them all!”
Cyan concentrated his mana and vividly imagined the magic circle of [Plant] attribute while loudly exclaiming his command.
Their surroundings were covered by plants and trees, so not too long after Cyan exclaimed those words, there were vines coming out of the ground, making their ways to the thieves and wrapped their bodies.
As the conscious men continued to growl in pain, Cyan already commanded the carriage driver to drive back full speed to the inn. He’s supposed to deal with the group of the thieves and handle them to the authorities, but right now, he’s got no time for that.
There is only one thing in his mind. His children.
Please, please be safe…
This situation that I am facing right now—it’s definitely not the kind of situation I’d expect from when I heard the word, “family vacation”.
“Now then, you’re all nice, good children, right~? Hurry up and come with Onee-chan~!”
The context of her words, when you combine it with her expression and tone—it’s definitely not convincing.
We tried to step back, but there is no more room for us to go…
“Lyra, I’ll be distracting their attention. You run and ask for help,” Alt-nii quietly whispered to my ears.
In that moment, Alt-nii stood up straight and moved so that he could be in front of me. He quickly took out his dagger—ah, he must have picked it up from the closet. I remember that he put it in the closet, but I didn’t even see it when he was picking it up again! Just when did he…?
He put the dagger in his right hand, clutched tight—and suddenly I see 4 daggers each on his hand—this technique… no, could it be, an illusion?
The two men in black are taken aback by this sudden turn of events. It’s clear that they are misunderstanding Alt-nii and I.
“My, my? Onee-chan is really disappointed… If only you remained a good kid, then Onee-chan will not hurt you…,” the woman who is the leader of the intruders—she is now showing a distorted face.
“Go!” Alt-nii shoved the daggers towards the three of them, while giving me the cue to run.
As the intruders are preoccupied with Alt-nii’s sudden attack, I dashed through all of them and quickly reached the door.
In front of the door, just a few meters away, I can see the unconscious Gale…
While I feel bad for neglecting him for the moment, I gotta prioritize looking for help.
–then suddenly, I heard Alt-nii’s scream.
…Three adults are ganging up on a 7 year-old child.
Though Alt-nii’s magical abilities might far exceed them, he is still at a disadvantageous situation. Is it alright for me to run, leaving him behind?
Sure, finding help is important, but I don’t want to imagine the probability that my return along with someone’s help is too late. Who knows that by the time I got back, Alt-nii is…
Alright… I will go and try to fight along Alt-nii first!
When I returned to the room, I saw the two men crouching down on the floor with their hands covering their abdomens. Though they were struck by nothing more than illusion, it was quite good at inducing pain to them. As a reflect, they would try to calm down the throbbing pain they felt with their sensation which was manipulated by the illusion.
Meanwhile, the female leader is standing firmly, Alt-nii’s dagger lying on the floor just right before her, and Alt-nii is… the female leader is roughly holding Alt-nii’s collar, lifting him up in the air!
I can feel adrenaline rushing through my veins.
No, no, no… Alt-nii!
At the same time, I can feel that the atmosphere around me is making me sick. Is this my brain’s suggestion upon seeing this bad, bad condition?
I know I have to do something really quick… but I’ve yet trained any combat magic… so, what can I do?
“Phyllo? What’s wrong?”
Just as Cassie set her feet outside Chinosato’s Magical Association, she was greeted by her husband’s familiar who rushed out to her.
Phyllo’s high-pitched voice indicated that something… is not right.
However, Cassie couldn’t understand his words.
Realizing this, Phyllo quickly rushed to Cass’ head, aiming his own forehead towards Cass’ forehead.
The moment their foreheads touched each other, Phyllo closed his eyes and concentrated on sending his message via magical essence.
[Danger… the children!]
…is what Cassie sensed through Phyllo’s transmission of magical wave.
Because those two are not master and familiar, they won’t be able to communicate fluently, so that is the message that Phyllo could transmit to Cassie. If it’s Cyan, surely he would be able to understand what Phyllo wanted to transmit to him.
Still, that is enough for her to understand the whole situation.
“Teleportation magic, destination: Sakura Inn’s magic portals, ,” Cassie murmured those words with focused eyes and mind. She poured her mana to cast this spell.
However, nothing happened…
Cassie becomes flustered as she realized that something was preventing her from teleporting there… Cold sweats started to run throughout her body.
An isolation barrier?!
“Meredea, let’s go quickly! There’s something wrong!!” Cassie quickly rushed Meredea and the two of them entered the carriage.
Although Meredea doesn’t know anything, she is able to comprehend that something very urgent is happening, causing her superior—who’s normally calm even under difficult matters—is completely in panic. She quickly followed Cass into the carriage.
“Please, hurry back to the inn!” Cassie instructed the carriage driver. Sure enough, the driver managed to pump out all of the horse’s maximum stamina to go back to the inn.
By this time, Phyllo has already returned back to where his master is—back to Cyan, who is also en route to the inn.
But, not long after the carriage’s started to move…
“Aaaargh, too slow!”
Cassie suddenly signaled the driver to stop.
As soon as the carriage stopped, Cassie jumped down and started to run.
“Eh, Ophelia-sama, what are you—?”
Meredea was very surprised by her superior’s abrupt decision and rash behavior, but she decided to jump down and follow her.
“Ophelia-sama, I think going by the carriage is still faster—,” Meredea was actually surprised that her superior would shutdown her thinking system in time of panic. It’s not like the superior she knows and admires.
Just as Meredea was about to catch up to Cassie, suddenly Cassie shouted.
“O Magical Beast that has— tch, too long! I summon thee, [Hippogriff]!”
Upon hearing Cassie’s chant, Meredea was astonished. Astonished by the fact that Cassie would suddenly chant a summoning spell out of the blue.
So, this is why she ran out of the carriage?!
But she was more astonished by Cassie’s line of words.
–tch, too long!
Of course, almost every magician is more used to utter the long version of the chant rather than the shortened version of it. Using a shortened chant—and Nonspraec chant… is way too mana consuming and too tiring! Even more so for a high level spell such as summoning spell! That is why almost all magicians who can use summoning spells are used to chanting the complete version of the chant. Even Cassie is used to utter the full chant, although she prefers to use the Nonspraec incantation rather than Spraec incantation.
But cutting through the incantation midway plus flying your complain before changing it to a shortened version is something uncalled for! And that sort of behavior comes straight from the Head of Royal Magicians, one of the most powerful or influential magician in Riviera!
Meredea understands that Cassie is in a panic, yet it was still something unexpected. Even until this moment, she is still baffled by what she just witnessed.
A light green magical circle appeared in front of Cassie, shining brightly with a very strong gust of wind. Meredea covered her eyes and squinted in reflex. Soon enough, the figure of a summoned beast appeared in front of them.
The summoned beast’s size is not very huge, but it is not a small beast, either. True to its name that Cassie just yelled before, its front body is that of an eagle’s, while its back is that of a horse’s. One pair of strong wings is there on its back, currently flapping with all its might, causing the strong wind to envelop its vicinity.
“Gwaaah!” The hippogriff growled.
Without any words, Cass quickly hopped onto the hippogriff’s back and commanded it to start flying, all the way back to the inn. The two of them swiftly soared high in the sky, and…
Standing just right behind the spot where the hippogriff appeared was a lone woman. She barely recovered from the strong gust that suddenly blew up due to the summoning magic, blocking her movement and sight. In the end, she couldn’t make it in time to hop on the hippogriff’s back before it flew away.
“Ophelia-sama, wait for meeeeee—!!”
Meredea’s pitiful voice echoed through the entire road, as Cassie has totally forgotten about Meredea and already took off with her summoned hippogriff.
“You sure have a lot of nerve, eh?!”
The female leader is currently lifting Altaire up in the air, holding him up so that their eyes can meet one another.
Before they got into this kind of position, Altaire managed to send the daggers flying to the three of them—not the real ones, but the illusions. There was only one real dagger amidst the total of eight flying daggers. As they flew towards the intruders, the number continued to multiply, in order to confuse them.
The woman who proclaimed herself as a big sister that wanted to play with them—managed to dodge the illusions and protected herself by using her electrical shield, dissolving the illusionary daggers directed towards her—and since Altaire aimed the real dagger at her, the dagger met the electrical shield and fall down.
Taking advantage of the short time when Altaire got surprised, the ruthless woman advanced forward and sent an electric shock towards the seven-year-old boy, causing him to yelp in surprise as he collapsed to the floor.
The merciless leader didn’t hold anything back and grabbed Altaire by his collar in a very rough manner. She was so upset at Altaire that she couldn’t help but to intimidate him.
Realizing the current situation he’s in, Altaire couldn’t think straight. The woman’s glaring eyes were intimidating enough that the usually fearless Altaire would feel fear this time.
Maybe, if they didn’t try to make any kind of resistance, the intruders would just take them as ransom, to make some kind of one-sided deal with his parents. But, there is also the probability that they would just get killed anyway. He wasn’t sure of the intruders’ intention.
But at least… Altaire felt kind of relieved that he managed to send his sister off. He just wishes that at least, she won’t get caught.
The little sister who seemed way more mature than him, always relenting before he picked a fight with her. The little sister who would never touch anything that he wanted to have for himself, be it toys, foods, and other things—so that they won’t get into fights over things. The little sister who seemed to take the role of the older sibling instead. The little sister who got upset when he played pranks at her, but never really bawled herself and tattled to their parents.
At least, with how he braced himself to let her run, finally he felt like he could play the role of the older sibling. After all, isn’t that the role of an older brother? A little sister must be protected by her older brother, not the other way round. With that in mind, Altaire felt relieved that Lyra has escaped.
However, unbeknownst to them, there were people stationed at each end of the corridor, just before the barrier’s wall that separated their rooms and nearby hallway from the outside world. If Altaire knew, perhaps he wouldn’t have asked Lyra to run by herself.
Currently, he is unaware of his little sister’s split-second decision, which should benefit them more in this condition.
Currently, he can only focus on the lunatic woman in front of him—although he can only see her mad eyes.
“At first I just planned on taking you away… only that… but now you’ve got on my nerves, so…”
Not good, not good. He can still feel the electric shock running through his body, how can he dodge this one?
“Onee-chan will mess you up real good, then, until your soul is tainted in black!”
The maniacal laugh she let out after uttering such words towards a mere child echoed through the room.
Surely, something is amiss inside this ruthless woman’s mind.
Altaire closed his eyes in fear of what is going to happen to himself.