Eina clenched her jaw and said, "Survive? No one will look for us there."
"Yes, yes," I waved my hand to silence her. "Anyway, how large can you go with your glass?"
Frowning, she replied, "Pretty big if I have enough time, why do you care?"
I nodded my head, "Good, make a large and tall pole. At least half of its length should be underground so it's stable, "I said, pointing at our landing spot.
Fuming, Eina stood up and snapped at me, "Why would I listen to you?!"
Annoyed, I crossed my arms and replied, "Go on, tell me what to do then."
She pursed her lips and asked, "Why do you want me to make it?"
Scoffing, I said, "Because, if anyone comes across it they will know that we are there. You will leave a message on it as well."
"Fine," Eina squeezed out, avoiding my gaze.
Her fingers lit up with a crystalline light and she went to work, growing a small glass crystal in her hands. Surprised by her decisiveness, I pulled out a small flint and steel and used it, a bright spark fell from it and landed on the ground, then, a fireplace fell from the sky and set itself into the ground.
Eina paused her spell and looked at it, wide-eyed, she said, "I've never seen anything like this before."
"Now you did," I replied, sitting down near the fireplace, it lit up on its own.
After Eina was done with her creation, she plopped down opposite to me and breathed heavily, it must have taken a lot of her Essence. The totem she created was around three meters tall, its uneven surface beautifully refracting the light. I pulled out my Golden Spectacles and made sure that she included my name in the message, surprisingly, she did.
Putting away the spectacles, I said, "Very nice, now's time to eat."
"Eat what?" Eina asked me, sourly. "Also, I won't be able to cast for hours, my veins are on the verge of rupturing." She complained, massaging her forearms.
Shrugging, I pulled out one of the Lemurian meals and started heating it over the fire. Eina shook her head in disbelief but in her pride, she didn't ask me to share, so, I didn't. Making sure to over-act how good the food was, I took relish in listening to Eina's rumbling stomach.
She looked pitiful, her eyes fixed on the disappearing food. Finally, I smacked my lips in approval and smirked at her, hiding the empty plate back into my bag of holding.
Shaking, Eina took a deep breath and asked me, "Can you share something?"
"With you? That depends," I said, poking my chin and pretending to be in deep thought.
"What do you want? Money?" She asked, her voice trembling in anger.
Grinning, I said, "A magic word."
Taken aback, Eina squeezed her fists and took a deep breath. She hissed out, "Please?"
Now, this, this was truly satisfying, even if a bit disappointing that she was so obedient; I wanted to torment her more. Giggling, I took out another meal and passed it to her, she begrudgingly quickly ate it. It made sense that she was also hungry, we technically vomited out everything not too long ago.
I stood up and walked up to the thickest tree nearby, I felt up its trunk to make sure it wasn't sharp and only then did I start climbing it. The toxic green bark was very grippy so climbing it was easy, a minute later I was already in the midst of branches. Finally, I could peek above the thick foliage; forest as far as the eye could see and some kind of mountains on the horizon.
The trees had either purple or blue leaves and whatever else was growing in their tree crowns, some plants looked very exotic. Glancing at the sky, I couldn't help but smile at how beautiful it was, it was vibrant orange and brilliant stars were poking through the firmament. There was no visible sun, it looked like the sky was glowing with its own light.
On my way down, I had to pause multiple times due to the wind swaying the tree and the feeling of vertigo. Choking on my whistling heart, I shakily jumped off the tree trunk and took a deep breath.
Eina was still sitting at the fireplace, eyeing me, her face expressionless, she asked, "What did you see?"
"Trees, weird orange sky and mountains in the distance," I sighed and wiped my hands, "Did that friend of yours mention what he does in this plane?"
She shook her head, staring into the dancing fire. "General will be the first to notice that we are gone," she said.
"Most likely. You are going to get expelled though," I said to her, laying down next to the fire and resting my head on my arms.
"I don't care." Her voice cracked up, "Father will kill me."
"Did you have to be a bitch? Now deal with the consequences." I snorted quietly, the rustling of leaves around us drowning it out.
Eina stood up and violently stomped her foot, she snapped at me, "Fine!"
Before I could say anything else, she stormed off into the forest, alarmed, I jumped to my feet and ran after her while cursing under my breath; that idiot would get us lost. She was already far away, only her white jacked poked through the colorful foliage.
Luckily, I was much faster than Eina and quickly caught up, weaving between the trees and dashing at her full speed. Before she realized it, I pounced and tackled her from behind, sitting on top of her I got her left arm in a hold and then pressed her face into the ground. She tried to cast a spell with her free arm but her hand only shook and went limp, she whimpered in pain.
"Veins?" I asked her, pressing my knees into her sides so she couldn't get up.
Eina looked at me over the shoulder, her face contorted in anger, she hissed out, "Get off me."
"That's no good, you were a bad girl," I said jokingly and juicily slapped her behind.
Revenge was sweet and so was her soft plump ass.
She squealed and tried to break free, just to receive a slap on the other buttock, it was music to my ears, and heaven to mine palm. It turned out that Eina knew many exotic curses, I made sure to commit some of them to my memory while she was lashing out.
"Should I discipline you more?" I asked, raising my hand again.
Eina shook and in a small voice said, "Get off me." When there was no reaction from my side she squeezed out, "Please."
Laughing, I rolled off her and watched as Eina stood up, massaging her behind and shooting me hateful glares. She was about to start swearing again but her face went paper white, shakily she took a step back and pointed at something behind me, single squeak escaping her open mouth.
My stomach twisted into a knot, Eina didn't look like someone who could act out emotions like these on a whim. Thinking quickly, I started to search for something in my bag and shakily turned around.
A little rocky hill was staring us down from between the trees, its cold blue gem-like eyes seeping with hostility. The hill opened its mouth, it was full of jagged rocks that looked like fangs; its palate started to shine with cold blue light.
My heart revving up to the limits, I jumped to the side and pulled out an item from my bag of holding, it was exactly what I was looking for. An enormous curved rectangle appeared in front of me, so heavy that it instantly sunk into the ground, it was impossible for me to move it with my current strength.
[Quicksilver Bulwark, Holy regalia used by King of Trolls, passed down through generations. The first King used this shield to defeat the black dragon Malum, reflecting its corrosive breath into its own mouth.
The enormous size and unlikely weight make Quicksilver Bulwark impossible to wield for humans, it can only be used as a stationary defense.
Effect: Reflects AOE attacks and amplifies them. Weight. 1000kg]
A high pitched sound told me that the creature was almost done charging up its attack. I turned around and froze, Eina was paralyzed by fear, standing to the side. Gritting my teeth, I jumped to her and in one fluid motion swept Eina off her legs and jumped behind the bulwark, clutching her tightly.
I was a bit too slow, something grazed my back and we fell onto the ground, protected by Quicksilver Bulwark. The world was colored in blue but I didn't care about that, nor did I care about Eina struggling to get from underneath me. My back felt as if someone poured molten metal on it, screeching, I clawed at it without thinking, not that I could think at that moment.
It only got worse, fragments of charred flesh dug under my nails, I was slipping into darkness, clenching my teeth, I started frantically digging in my bag of holding. I didn't even notice the blue flames disappearing, or the deafening explosion that came after. My mind was blank, only pain and the item I was looking for occupied it.
"Y-your back!" Eina shouted, she already crawled out from under me.
Finally, there it was. I took a gulp of [Vivifying Elixir], the same one I gave Aren, now I understood what he felt. It was almost the same as with Vial of Life, the potion spread through my body and started working, painfully. It was as if worms started digging through my back, it was as if my back was falling out, charred bits of flesh splashing onto the grass.
Gasping for breath, I whimpered in pain, pulling at my hair, suddenly, it was gone as if it was just an illusion. Cussing at the potion, I sat up and rested against bulwark, it was cold. Heaving I looked at Eina, she was looking at me in disbelief with tears in her eyes, squeezing her mouth.
"Shitty potion," I rasped, trying to smirk but grimacing instead.
Jolted by my voice, Eina came to her senses and craned from behind the shield. Her mouth dropped open and she stood up, her eyes fixed on something behind. I did the same and sure enough, the rock creature was gone, so was a large chunk of the forest. Blue flames smoldered on the edges of a large crater, it was filled with molten material that I assumed to be the remains of whatever that thing was.
Sighing in relief, I muttered, "So it worked."
I grabbed the Quicksilver Bulwark and sucked it back into my bag of holding, Eina was shaking, struggling to process what had just happened. Standing up, I stretched my back, a soft moan escaped my mouth when my bones cracked, this was also when I had a wardrobe malfunction. With the back of my clothes completely burned out, both the jacket and everything underneath fell from the front.
"Twenty Leos wasted," I muttered, covering my chest with one arm and rummaging through my bag with the other one.
Eina squeaked and averted her gaze while I took out a fresh uniform and clothed up. Standing with her back to me, in a shaky voice, she asked, "Why did you do it?"
"Do what?" I replied with a question, struggling with my shirt.
"Saved me." She replied in a small voice.
Sighing, I said, "You are a bitch and I don't really like y-"
She turned on her heel and cut me off, "Then why?! You could have solved all your problems right there!"
Rolling my eyes I replied, "Because even if you are a bitch, your life's worth doesn't change."
Taken aback, she asked, "And what's that supposed to mean?"
"Every human life is worth the same. Even if the person is worthless, their life isn't," I said, pulling on my jacket.
"Is that your religion's doctrine?" Eina asked, her shoulders shaking.
I shook my head and looked at her in a meaningful way, "Just my personal belief, I've learned the hard way." Sighing, I shot a last glance at the crater and said, "Let's go, we need to find a safe place."
"T-thank you," Eina squeezed out, almost inaudibly.
It felt weird hearing it come out from her mouth, especially to me. I looked over my shoulder and said, "Congratulations, you learned the second magic word."
She followed behind me, her eyes fixed on the ground. Shrugging, I tried to get us back to the fireplace but it turned out to be impossible, we couldn't recall which direction we came from and everything looked the same. After climbing another tree, we decided on going towards the mountains.
Eina was mostly quiet, at some point she asked me, "Is this why you took that girl for a friend?"
"Lili? Not really, we just get along and is a great person, not that you would understand." I replied, scoffing at her.
"I see," she replied and then stammered out, "Do-do you think we can start over?"
Snorting a laugh, I replied, "You tried that once already and instantly insulted my friend, and then attacked me. No."
I looked over my shoulder to rub it in but choked on my words when I saw Eina's pitiful face, trying to tell myself that she deserved it, I pouted my lips and averted my gaze. My heart was too soft, I couldn't take it, I was a strong believer that people could turn over a new leaf, maybe even she could.
Taking a deep breath I said, "Apologize to Lili and everyone who you bullied. If you do that in front of me, I will reconsider giving you a chance."
Eina caught up to me and grabbed me by the shoulder, she excitedly asked, "That's it?"
"If it isn't obvious, I am also expecting you to stop your bullying altogether," I said in a low voice.
She tightened her fingers and replied, "I agree."
Now then, I had to stop walking and give her a deep look. There was no sign of her 'holier than thou' expression that she usually sported, instead, genuine emotion reflected on her face.
"What's with the sudden change of heart?" I asked suspiciously, looking into her azure eyes.
Abashed, Eina dodged my eyes, "Well, y-" She tried to say but choked on her words.
Slapping her hand off my shoulder, I coldly said, "Squeeze it out."
She took a deep breath and blurted out, "You saved me."
"I already expl-"
She cut me out and looked me in the eyes, "No, you don't understand!"
Rolling my eyes, I spread my hands helplessly, waiting for an explanation on her part.
"You are not like the other nobles, none of my friends would risk their lives for me," She blurted out, still dodging my eyes.
"Then they are not your friends," I casually replied.
Deflated, she mumbled, "We spend time together. I thought they are. "
Chuckling, I pinched her rosy cheek and said, "How cute, you should interact with regular people more. Friends are people who care for you and put up with your nonsense, even if they get mad at you it won't change your relationship in the long run."
She puffed her cheeks and took a step back, pouting, she squeezed out, "Don't do that."
"Alright, I'll give you the benefit of doubt. You are no longer bitch, I am promoting you to Argent." I said to her and continued walking.
Eina caught up and asked, "How many treasures do you even carry around?"
"All of them." I automatically replied.
"Eh? Either way, I left my bag of holding in my room. Can you sell me a healing potion, please?" Eina asked me, her voice cracking up at the last word.
I glanced at her black eye and bloody lip before pulling out [Lesser Healing Potion] and throwing it to her, technically I owed her this, being the one who initiated the fight and all.
She caught it and asked, "How much do I owe you?"
"A pretty smile after you fix your face, stop bothering me," I replied, frowning.
"Alright?" She said and took a sip, grimacing at the taste.
Her swollen cheek deflated and returned to normal, the bruises melted into the ski and her face returned to normal. She really was pretty with her thin arched eyebrows and high cheekbones, the potion must have also healed her arm because she created a small mirror to check her face.
"Thank you," Eina squeezed out, giving me a genuine but crooked smile.
I couldn't help but laugh at the face she made, it completely clashed with the image of 'Eina the cold bitch' that I had in my mind.
"What?!" She snapped at me.
Wiping the corners of my eyes, I said, "Nothing, it was just funny seeing you smile."
Before Eina could say anything, the tree line suddenly ended and the forest opened up to a rocky plain with very little plants. We crossed our stunned gazes and walked up to check it out, I wasn't an expert but the rock looked to be cooled off volcanic expulsion.
"You said the mountains are on the horizon," Eina said to me.
I looked up and frowned, the mountains looked extremely close. "What even is this world?"
"It's a plane, a kind of miniature world. It probably looked far away because of some weird reason. I don't study this topic so I am not sure," Eina replied, cupping her chin.
Bitting my lip, I thought hard for a moment before deciding, "This looks dangerous, this rock dinosaur probably came from there."
"Dinosaur?" Eina asked, confused.
"Uh, a big lizard bird thing, some had feathers," I explained.
"Ah. Anyway, I will follow your lead," Eina said.
Raising my eyebrow, I asked, "How come you are so docile?"
Eina coughed awkwardly and averted her gaze, "You seem to be experienced in survival, and you think quickly under stress. And, well, I don't have my bag of holding."
Smacking my lips, I said, "Alright, that's good enough of an explanation for me. Let's go."
Eina nodded her head and we walked along the forest's border with the rocky biome on our left. The silent march gave me time to mull over what happened recently, I was probably too lax with Eina, on the other hand, we were stuck there together.
Might as well, maybe I'll manage to grind off some of her toxic personality, I was sure that people at the academy would be grateful for that, It would definitely make our weapon practice easier for what it was worth as well.
As for getting out of this world, I was sure that the teachers would instantly realize what was happening after seeing the open doors we left behind. A day or two at most, this is how long I expected it would take them to launch an recovery team.
As for Eina, she didn't have to know that yet, I wanted to torment her state of mind a little bit.