"KEEP RUNNING!" Scott yelled as loudly as he could to his three companions. Alisa was on his back because she was far too unfit to possibly keep up with them considering that they were running through a forest. Behind them was a group of maybe forty strong-looking men that were wearing barely any clothes and looked like a group of Barbarians based on their crude looking weapons.
"Your spell still isn't ready, Emma?!" George shouted as he struggled to breathe since running and physical activity in general still wasn't his forte.
"SHUT UP! I'M WORKING ON IT! Res mels strag eich... " Emma screamed in anger before she continued chanting as she tightly held her staff. 'Hurry up, mouth! I'm running out of stamina!'
"This is all your fault, Scott!" Hazel shouted before she swiftly picked up a rock from the ground while she was running and launched it behind her with great accuracy and managed to hit one of the Barbarians on the head, knocking him out or killing him, either way, he wasn't pursuing them anymore.
"How was I supposed to know the cave we teleported into was full of those aggressive fuckers?!" Scott retorted before he repositioned Alisa who was on his back and picked up his pace. 'I'm already exhausted from boosting Alisa's teleportation, and I have to carry her too! Cut me some slack for Christ's sake!'
"Plese don't argue and just run!" Alisa shouted from behind Scott, nearly deafening him. "Sorry, Scott," she whispered into his ear. 'I wish I were stronger... this is so embarrassing having to be carried, and by him of all people... ' she thought.
Hazel's eyebrows perked up while she ran at this thought of Alisa's. 'Heh, so my little Alisa has those kinds of feelings too? Heh,' she smirked despite the dire situation they were in. Hazel truly was a glutton for juicy things such as this. She only indulged in such thoughts because if she weren't true to herself, she wouldn't be able to see people's real feelings since she required a pure heart to do so.
It was at this moment that Emma shouted, "I'M READY!" before she stopped running and turned to face the incoming Barbarians. She then held her staff up and waved it lightly. "I hate spells that need chanting..." Emma mumbled. "LIGHTNING FIELD!" she screamed.
Several blue snake tattoos on her body then lit up, and a giant cyan bubble appeared around the fifty or so Barbarians. They ignored the sudden change for whatever reason and continued charging, but Hazel's group had already stopped running and were merely watching the Barbarians as they caught their breath.
The Barbarians that reached the side of the bubble and tried to run through it exploded into a gore-filled haze that forced Alisa to turn away. Scott grit his teeth as he forced himself to watch the grisly scene. George and Emma were fine since they were from this world, and despite being nobles, they had both seen their fair share of death.
The blue bubble was slowly getting smaller and trapping the few Barbarians that hadn't run to their deaths already, even further. Slowly but surely, the bubble became small enough that it killed all of the men and there was now nothing left except a small sphere that was full of a red liquid, more than likely, blood.
Emma waved her staff again which forced the bubble to disperse, making the collected blood drop to the ground with a wet splash.
"Phew," Emma sighed as she wiped away the sweat that had gathered on her brow. She then turned to face Hazel and smiled. "I'm a bit shocked you're not vomiting or something since you looked at that whole thing without batting an eye," she happily said.
"You couldn't hear their thoughts. Those scum didn't deserve death. They deserved far worse," Hazel had replied with hate in her voice before she ran next to Alisa and began squeezing her. "Ah! I'm healed!" she squealed as she hugged the short and blonde-haired girl.
"H-Hazel... I-I can't... can't breathe," Alisa mumbled as she tried to squirm out of her best friends grasp unsuccessfully.
Scott, George and Emma watching this scene with smiles. Such a show of playfulness was certainly helpful in fighting off the tension they had all experienced earlier.
After having been freed from Hazel's grasp, Alisa straightened her pointy hat and coughed loudly to get everyone's attention. "E-Everyone... I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to teleport us into that c-cave..." Alise said before tears started to well up in her eyes.
"Eh? But it's not your fault?" Emma said as she held her chin with a confused look on her face.
"If anything, it's Scott's fault. Why on Altros did you try to talk to those men? They were obviously feral and lacked intelligence. Oh, Did you connect with them? After all, you're just as stupid," George said with a sneer. Clearly, he wasn't happy with the situation that they had been forced into thanks to Scott.
"Hey!" Scott shouted as he blushed in embarrassment. "It wasn't my fault! I just wanted to know where we were after we teleported! You know it worked the last two times we teleported, so why would I think otherwise? Maybe you should have warned me that there were Barbarians that liked to live in caves around here!" Scott yelled in frustration.
"You're both idiots. Even if Scott hadn't alerted them, I doubt we could have snuck out of that cave. Sure, we could have been in a more favourable situation, but we managed to deal with them without any of us dying or being captured, so stop bickering, please," Hazel said with a forgiving tone.
"Muu, do we have to walk now? That was the second time you used your skill this month, right, Alisa?" Emma asked with a tired voice. Apparently, walking wasn't something she enjoyed.
"Y-Yes, but maybe we're c-close to the Academy now... we might reach it before I can teleport us again," Alisa said with a happy expression. Clearly, she was excited at the possibility of having nearly reached her goal since the Academy meant more to her than finding Lone did.
"Okay, you heard her, so stop whining, and put your walking boots on. It's still only noon," Hazel ordered, and after a little bit of grumbling, the teenagers changed into their walking gear and began their trek to the Academy.
"What the hell..." Scott mumbled a few hours later.
Their group had reached the edge of the forest and what lay before them was a desert that looked completely lifeless and seemed like it stretched on for miles and miles.
"You never checked the map? We need to pass through this desert to get to the academy. That's why we bought those space bags back in that Dwarven stronghold so we could store enough food to last us. Did you think we sold a few of Emma's magic books for nothing?" George said with a scoff.
"Right, It's just a bit different looking at it in person instead of on a sheet of cloth," Scott replied as he remained in a daze. Despite how deadly the desert looked, there was a particular beauty to it. Like the certain death it seemed to promise was a thing of good fortune, as silly as that sounded. The group changed to a more suitable attire and continued their journey, their very lone journey to the Academy, to Lone.
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