“Save us…. Please….”
Lucia ignored the demons’ cries and continued to flip them over and rummage through their belongings. “Why don’t these people have interspacial rings?” She glanced at their lower bodies. “Unless their hiding them down there….”
No one would hide their interspacial ring down there! “Um, Lucia. The earrings you took from them earlier. Those are interspacial ones.”
“Oh. Thanks, Ilya,” Lucia said and patted my head. Great, now there were bloodstains I had to clean out of my hair. “I guess we’re all done with them then.”
Is she just going to leave them there? They were students of the Arcane Arts Academy, one of the most prestigious magic schools around. Of course, as the daughter of a duke, my stature was above attending it, but many of the lesser nobles had their children attend. The graduation rate was only around 25%, but all the students who graduated became magicians of at least seven circles. It was a very vigorous course that took twenty-five years to complete, and there were rumors that students could hunt beasts in the desolate mountains to earn better grades. Dangers were accepted as normal, but if the academy found out Lucia did this…, they’d retaliate.
“Um, Lucia. Are you going to leave them like that?”
“They’ll be fine,” Lucia said with a nod. “Their limbs will regrow in time and they’ll make it out of the forest a-ok.” She stuck her thumb up before turning around to leave.
Limbs … regrow? Demons aren’t salamander people! “Lucia! Lucia, wait, Lucia!” But it was too late, Lucia had already ran off into the forest and resumed her hunting spree. I could stay behind and help these people and most likely die, or I could follow after Lucia and most likely die. …Why do both options feel the same? I glanced at the pale demon lying in a puddle of blood and quickly made up my mind. Follow Lucia!
“Um, Lucia,” I asked after catching up to her. She was running pretty slowly because she was looking over her loot. “If you were going to do that to them, shouldn’t you have just killed them?” I wasn’t sure which was worse: cutting off someone’s arms and legs and leaving them to die in a forest or killing them outright without leaving a strand of hope. I wouldn’t want to select either option.
“What? Kill them? I’m not a murderer.” Lucia frowned at me. “Sheesh. Just what do you think of me as? Oh, and clean my dress since you barfed all over it.”
“…Clean.” With a word and a flick of my wrist, Lucia’s dress turned back to its original red…, white? Her dress was white before? Then what was the red? Oh. “So, um, why’d you cut off their arms and legs?”
“Well, I cut off their legs so they wouldn’t chase us,” Lucia said with a nod as she inspected her dress. “But then I realized I wasn’t weak and they were rich, so I went back. And everyone knows magicians can’t cast spells without their hands, so I cut those off too.”
Huh? Where did she hear that from? The only thing required to cast a spell was mana. “And you don’t think that counts as killing them?” Did she really not? Sometimes, I can’t tell if she’s an idiot or if she’s actually really sinister on the inside.
“Of course not,” Lucia said. “If they’re out hunting divine beasts, then a mere flesh wound like that won’t kill them. I can regrow my limbs easily if you cut them off.” She turned her head away. “At least that’s what Puppers told me. I haven’t actually lost a limb to test it out. Anyways, I only did enough damage to them to make sure they wouldn’t have any ideas to chase and kill us after they recovered. I’m a totally nice person. If Durandal were around, he’d have killed them.”
“I see.” I don’t, but if I abandon some of my common sense, I can see where Lucia’s coming from. Maybe. “And you know magicians don’t need hands to cast magic?”
“Huh!?” Lucia’s eyes widened. “Really!? They’re always doing hand flicks or weird motions when they do magic though.”
“Those are just tics. You don’t even need to chant a spell to cast it either. As long as you circulate mana the right way, a spell can be cast. It’s like how you don’t have to shout out the spell name when you use a magic tool.”
“…You don’t?” Lucia looked … crestfallen. I think I broke one of the strange rules of her world. She shook her head and continued to run at a slow pace. Was she doing that out of consideration for me? “Anyways, what’s the Arts Arcanium School?”
“The Arcane Arts Academy?” Please. The name alliterates.
“Yeah, that thing. You seemed really scared by those people which is why I attacked first.”
So she attacked out of consideration for me? …I don’t believe her. I have a feeling she’d have attacked even if I wasn’t present. “The Arcane Arts Academy is a place for elite magicians. They’re the largest academy in the empire, and the strength they hold is no joke. The principal is a ninth-circle magician, and most of the teachers are at eight circles.”
“That sounds scary. Dozens of demons as strong as Rogath gathering around in one place? Yeah, I’m never going there.” Lucia nodded.
“You may have attracted their attention by assaulting their students though. On missions, there’s usually a teacher to chaperone. And if he finds out his students didn’t come back and personally went out to investigate…”
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier!?” Lucia whirled around and ran back towards the direction we just came from, going at a speed I could barely keep up with. “Remove all evidence!”
“I thought you weren’t a murderer.” How does she run so fast without the assistance of magic? Imagine if she could use spells to augment her physical abilities. She’d be unstoppable.
“I’m not a murderer! I’m an angel of mercy! Didn’t you hear that demon pleading to be saved? I’ll definitely put him out of his misery.”
Why didn’t she hear him the first time around? How did someone like her inherit the Godking’s legacy?