Let’s Head Back
‘Arrogant’, ‘provocative’ and ‘insane’ were the words that popped into the heads of everyone present. As members of the Eye, they had a rough understanding of Grand Magus Hladik. He was a 17th-stratum high-order magus that specialized in pyrokinetic spells. Though he couldn’t be considered the strongest magus in the guild, he was among the best. How could he get the position of vice-president otherwise?
And now, some kid from who knew where, an assassin who’d just joined the high order, claimed he would take the grand magus’ life in three months? He even warned the latter to clean his neck? Perhaps ‘insane’ wasn’t adequate to describe the youth. ‘Idiot’ might be more fitting.
Just as everyone was getting pissed and shocked at the kid’s startling arrogance, his form moved. Host of Darkness’s effect would wear off soon. Not only would he return to the 11th stratum, the side effects of using his gift would come into play. Forget killing his enemies, he would have trouble even trying to escape.
The most rational choice was to escape before that happened. However, he didn’t wish to. Even after he had tortured and mutilated Nabir and cut off Riddie’s head, his rage hadn’t abated. Thus he would continue his slaughter. Even if he couldn’t kill everyone, he would take as many as he possibly could! It was true that Jaehart and Leguna weren’t that close, having only met on two occasions, he shouldn’t have lost his mind for the boy’s sake. But everything had changed once he’d reunited with him and spent a few days with his family.
The days he’d spent in York were the happiest of his entire life. There was no fear, hunger, cold or worry; not a single strand of stress or frustration. There was only a good friend whom he treated as he would his own brother and two cute and lively little girls. Minnie and Innilis’s appearance had caused Leguna’s numbed heart to open again. They were so pure, so innocent, so energetic… It was as if he saw Eirinn’s shadow in their eyes.
It was that girl, ugly beyond description, yet immeasurably beautiful, that had brought him from the shadows into the light. She had given him all he had. But she disappeared one day before he could pay her back. He has been weak back then, there had been nothing he could do. He couldn’t stop it, he could only vent his grief and swear he would not let such a thing happen again. Many years later, he saw Eirinn in Minnie and Innilis. It delighted him greatly. He cherished the feelings.
He had once mocked Jaehart for being weak and naive. But, not only was it an insult to the dead Jaehart, it was also an insult to himself.
What Jaehart said about wanting to protect his sisters was exactly what Leguna intended. He wanted to protect the rare peace and purity he’d found. He thought he had become stronger and could achieve anything. He didn’t think his dream would be shattered by reality so easily and so quickly.
A few years ago, he had suffered immeasurable pain from losing Eirinn. And just a few years later, when he felt he had grown up and gotten stronger and could protect what he treasured, something like this had to happen again. Not only did this greatly pain him, it was also a wake-up call that mocked him for being prideful and naive.
Hence, he raged, agonized, grieved, and feared. The complicated emotions surged non-stop like waves against the dam of his reason. In the end, it crumbled completely.
It started off the same, and ended the same! Nothing’s changed! Has nothing really changed?
No, something did! Maybe the beginning and end might be immutable, but at the very least, I can bellow! I can rage! I can seek vengeance! I will end those who bring me endings like these! Kill!
Leguna rushed into the crowd. Where he showed up, bloody hibiscus bloomed. Only now did fear appear in the heart of the attendants. It didn’t mean that the kid could take them all on alone. The battle with Nabir and Kratt had pushed him far beyond his limits. While Host of Darkness was still active, the heavily injured youth was not nearly as agile and sharp as before.
Wounds of varying depths and sizes appeared on his body. His footwork was no longer as unpredictable and odd as before; his strikes as acute; nor his consciousness as clear. But he didn’t care. He would kill for as long as he could. The only thought remaining in his head was sticking Flameblade and Lighteater into as many bodies as possible. He broke out of the circle with a lunge and grabbed onto one with his left arm before cutting his head off. Another attendant rushed at him from behind. If he didn’t dodge in time, he might be dealt a fatal blow.
His mind was too muddled to react. It was as if he didn’t take notice of the danger at all as he raised his hand with difficulty for the next kill. A flash of blue came out of nowhere. An icicle pierced the attendant’s back. The man looked at the gaping hole in his torso, horrified, before collapsing.
A strong hailstorm followed the icicle. The spell’s area of effect had been tightly controlled; it managed to force the enemies around Leguna apart without harming a single hair on his head. The attendants quieted down. They looked cautiously at Annelotte, standing not far away. She already had the second hailstorm in her hand. They didn’t doubt they would be baptized again if they made a move.
Annelotte observed her surroundings. When her eyes landed on the corpses on the ground and the pile of minced meat, she couldn’t help but reveal a shocked expression. She hadn’t thought Leguna would actually manage to kill a high-order magus and another high-order knight. Even further beyond her expectations was the bloody atrocity the joyful youth was capable of bringing. Could the pile of meat still be called a corpse?
Annelotte was just as angered. If it were her, she would avenge them as well and kill the magus and everyone else involved, but she doubted she would go this far. The girl was aware that killing was but a means to an end. It was extremely dangerous to get lost in the thrill of slaughter. Given Leguna’s violent streak, it was as if he had been driven to madness by all the killing. He didn’t realize what had happened around him at all. With an insidious smile on his face, he swung Lighteater towards the throat of the man in his hands.
Just as he prepared himself for the sensation of blade cutting flesh, the girl’s voice rang out.
Stunned, he turned around.
His improved vision, afforded by Host of Darkness, allowed him to see Annelotte’s face with ease. With a shudder, clarity returned to his eyes. He looked at the person he held. It was Edwin. The mayor had lost his earlier dignified look. He just stares at him with a deathly gaze, one filled with hate and venom, not an ounce of fear.
At that moment, it suddenly occurred to him he had also taken something precious from someone else.
Riddie was Edwin’s only son… Surely killing him made Edwin suffer too, right?
What does it have to do with me, though? I was hurting and grieving, but you never cared about me! Why should I care about your feelings?! You should all just die!
Leguna gradually raised Lighteater again.
Looking at the youth with her a shaken gaze, Annelotte hurriedly called out.
“Enough! Let’s head back!”
“Head back? To where?” Leguna asked, “They killed Jaehart’s family, so I repay blood with blood! Since nothing’s left, I don’t have anywhere to which to return! The Eye won’t let me off anyway. I’ll kill everyone here today!”
“We won’t leave you, and… Innie is fine.”
Annelotte didn’t think the usually agreeable youth would actually talk back to her. She knew the incident concerning Jaehart had been too big of a shock, she hurriedly brought up Innilis. This was her last hope.
Upon hearing that, Leguna stopped his hand.
“Innie’s safe. Everyone’s waiting for you. Come! Let’s head back!”
For the sake of bringing Leguna back, she toned down the harshness of her speech significantly. Had it been before, if Leguna dared to resist, the girl wouldn’t hesitate to give him a taste of Glacial Domain before dragging his frozen body back.
He loosened his grip on Edwin and fainted.
The girl looked soundlessly at the collapsed boy. She dragged him over with Magus’s Hand.
The remaining attendants didn’t dare to make a move. Given how the half-dead brat could already create so much chaos, they didn’t dare risk their lives now that a magus had appeared out of nowhere as well. At first, they felt Hladik’s orders to send such a huge squad to catch a measly four mercenaries was rather unnecessary, but now it seemed even Hladik had underestimated the four!
Annelotte took Leguna into Jaehart’s room and placed two force fields over the doors and windows. After ensuring the attendants couldn’t easily barge in, she dictated the transference spell and took Leguna, and Jaehart and Minnie’s, corpses away.