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Screams could be heard inside the library.


The bandits started running towards the library and Freya started running towards the entrance to get Celeste, that was the order of events. Since the bandit got a quick start, of course Freya was slower and it seemed that some bandits already infiltrated the library. Arkef's grand library got their own number of guards to protect the vicinity, however, against such overwhelming number, they couldn't help but let a few bandits slip inside the library.

The people inside the library were in panic. Not being able to think clearly because of the sudden dire situation, they were running in circles, literally. Freya ran as fast as she could and went down the stairs of the library. The screams were more intense there. Screams of terror.

Fair enough, about 7 people with black coat was inside the library with a burning torch. Some got side-tracked from their original objective: burning the library, and were hurting the innocents. Freya could see a female librarian being harassed by one of the bandits. Although it was important for Freya to get Celeste, she couldn't exactly ignore the chaos which was happening.

Sometimes it crossed her mind: that there were some thick and heavy books like dictionary for example; and whether or not throwing such object onto a human would be a critical blow or not. Books were for knowledge and normally wouldn't and shouldn't be used that way, however the situation called for it. So Freya shrugged and picked up a dictionary which was conveniently lying on the ground.

She folded her right arm backward whilst still holding the book, positioning her arm like a catapult ready to fling heavy boulder. As she threw it, she used her whole body to add even more force to her throw. The book flew towards a man in black coat and hit him directly to the head. The man fell to the ground and dropped cold, unconscious. I knew it! Freya thought. I knew that those thick books could potentially kill someone!

That was not a time to be amazed however, as the other bandits had seen her stunt and considered Freya as a threat. 'Pass me the torch!' Was what Freya wanted to shout to the female librarian she just saved, but she was quick on her feet and had ran away. 2 men were near the fallen torch and Freya, looking at them, decided to not bother to claim the torch. 'Well things aren't looking bright,' she said to herself.

Following the librarian's example, Freya too ran away. Elaine was prideful enough to consider showing her back to her enemies as embarrassing, but Freya simply didn't care about things such as pride. Celeste wasn't with her and the best course of action to take at the moment was to run away. She looked back to check the situation; and fair enough, 3 bandits were chasing her.

I wonder if there's a book the shape of a stick or a sword... I suppose that would be too convenient...

Freya ran towards the entrance of the library where the item safe-keeping area should be located, where Celeste should be held. She ran slow however and allowed her chasers to catch up to her. Her reasoning was simple: if Freya ran too fast, they would lose her and be reminded of their actual objective. The fact that Freya was distracting 3 people from their job wasn't half-bad, so she decided to let them chase her.

One versus three shouldn't be a problem for Freya as she could perceive time as slow and see their movements clearly. They were just common bandits and there should be no problem for Freya to fight with them bare-handed and win. It wasn't as if Freya had much pride with the sword that she couldn't stand fighting without a sword, rather, she just didn't like to fight bare-handed. It just felt wrong and she didn't want to do it unless a situation forced her to. Since she could still run away, she would rather do that.

Running away didn't mean losing; just tactical retreat and that was all. As Freya ran through bookshelves, she picked up books which she thought would do a lot of damage. Strictly speaking: books which were thick, heavy, and if possible had sharp hard cover. Books weren't an object to throw at people, but beggars can't be choosers, Freya had to make do with what she had. What the library had.

She made a turn around the bookshelf, gained some distance, and was ready to throw a book she currently held to her chasers when they make a turn. Fair enough, they thought Freya would just run and didn't expect her to fight back. She threw a thick book with sharp hard cover. The book landed on one of the chaser's forehead on the sharp corner side. He fell back to the ground writhing in pain. 'That must've hurt,' Freya said.

The bandits, not caring what happened to their comrade continued on their chase. Again Freya ran.

As she ran, she came across a ladder and disturbed its position so it fell on its own weight. It was a ladder which was enchanted with lightness, so even if it fell and hit her chasers' head, it wouldn't do much. That wasn't her aim however.

She had timed the fall of the ladder so perfectly that one of the unsuspecting chaser's head slipped inside the hole of the ladder, hindering his movement, causing him confusion and surprise. Losing his balance, he fell forward and straight to the floor.

2 chasers immobilized, 1 more to go. Save the last for the best I guess, for Celeste.

Freya was near the safe-keeping area of Arkef's grand library. She should be able to find Celeste there and finish her last chaser in a jiffy. The difficulty level would have gone from hard to easy as soon as Celeste was in her hand. She finally arrived at the place where Celeste should be held.

But of course...

Freya had considered the possibility but decided to cast it aside since it was still only just a possibility. Now however, it turned out to be the real outcome: that bandits, about 5 of them, were crowding on the item safe-keeping area in search for valuable objects. One chaser was still behind her and was closing in. Like it or not, she had to dive in through the bandits and grab Celeste. Dodging attacks wouldn't count as fighting bare-handed. She would just be-- dodging, that was all.

As she ran towards the bandits who were salvaging the area, they seemed to be bothered by her and took a protective stance. A torch then came flying towards her and she evaded it by tilting her body slightly to the right. Freya continued to run straight and a fist was directed towards her, so she ducked and dodged. A bandit tried to tackle her but she was too slippery to catch, he couldn't even come close to touch her.

Whilst dodging, Freya rummaged through the pile of mess which the bandits have made. Pocket watch, bags, etc, Celeste wasn't there. She switched her search target towards the shelves where items were kept. Celeste should be there.

Still dodging the swinging of fists and torches, Freya searched her trouser's pocket and picked up a card with number. A card which was used to identify where her item was kept, where Celeste was kept. The number 13 was inscribed on the card. Thus she went on to search shelf 13, which just so happened to be located at the very top.

The ladder used by the guard to reach the shelf was knocked down and Freya couldn't reclaim the ladder, so she jumped to and climbed the shelves in search for Celeste. So unlucky. At least, she should see a white sheathed sword with black and white grip when she reached the shelf. The bandits didn't like her climbing, so they were throwing objects at her which she needed to dodge or parry or both. They weren't making it easy.

The shelf was numbered from 1 to 500. 25 number each row and the number started ascending from top to bottom. At least since it was at the top, Celeste should be there waiting for her, right? Wrong.

When Freya climbed persistently to reach shelf number 13, Celeste wasn't there.

'Seriously?' She said in astonishment. 'Come on...'

Freya then felt a hand gripping her ankle. One of the bandits had climbed and chased her. In normal situation, Freya would usually realize if an enemy was close to her, but she was so distracted that Celeste wasn't there; that made her careless. She tried shaking the bandit off her, but the man had strong grip and Freya couldn't exactly exert any power from such position, lest she wanted to fall. Maybe I do want to fall, the idea crossed through Freya's mind, but considering the height, she tossed away the ridiculous idea as she couldn't fall without taking harm.

As much as Freya wanted to hide her last trick, the situation demanded her to use it. A certain trick which even Elaine know not of. A trick which Freya hid as her ace in the hole. She hid it to make sure her trick remained a secret and also to not draw Elaine's suspicion regarding Ori. Like it or not, she had to use it. She didn't want to consider falling on purpose and engage on a bare-fist fight anyway.

It was important to note that the shelf was slightly deep and that other than the torch which the bandits brought, there was currently no other light source. She spotted an empty shelf, but Freya wouldn't exactly say it was empty, rather: it was filled with darkness. Darkness, the condition she needed to pull out the trick which she needed.

The bandit was tugging her leg strongly and Freya had to act quick. She let go one hand, her right, from holding the edge of the shelf and plunged it into the darkness of that empty shelf which she could reach. That was the condition, the limitation, something which she gave up for something else, a cost.

'Celeste!' she called.

She could feel the darkness around her hand to materialize into a form. Into a sword grip which was familiar for her to grab. From that empty darkness, she pulled out Celeste, how she missed looking at her sword, even when they had only separated for some while. Immediately she swung the sheathed sword to the bandit which was holding her leg, his grip loosened, and he fell down hard. Freya, not planning to waste precious time, immediately jumped from the shelf.

While she had only instructed the blacksmith who made Celeste to enchant it with durability enhancement, Freya had tweaked the enhancement a tad bit to her convenience when she returned to her mansion. Using a formulae magic which she got from her library, she was able to set up a magic which allowed her to able to summon Celeste when it wasn't with her. The condition she needed was that she needed to find a spot of darkness where Celeste could Form (a type of teleportation) and she needed only to call its name.

I knew that summoning formulae would come in handy, Freya thought as she was in the air, looking at her sword. Nice to have you with me Celeste.

Freya then landed safely to the ground and was ready to fight the bandits. As she landed, the bandits could see her smirking.

***

She got a sword in her hand, was what one bandit thought. Still sheathed.

'Get her before she unsheathe her sword!' The man shouted.

The bandits rushed at Freya with torches in their hand. The lady stood still and the bandit could only think that she was stunned from their numbers. What could a sheathed sword even do?

After he thought of that, he felt damage on his temple and lost his balance. As he fell to the floor he was slowly losing consciousness. Before being gone completely, he could see that his other bandit crews were also suffering the same fate, they too were falling to the ground as they got hit by something.

What happened?

Before his eyes were completely shut, the last thing he saw was the figure of a lady confidently holding a sword beside her.

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About the author

Novaldy Felix

Bio: Any form of reviews or critics, kind or unkind, is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Things happens, updates Freya at least once a week at EST Saturday 19:03. (If I don't get the timezone wrong)

Oh hey, speaking of which:
Some stuff arises during the holiday, things I need to deal with.

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