Sorry for the late release.
I hope you enjoy the chapter :D
As Eris kept on jumping from tree to tree while carrying Sonia under her arm. Leo was just right behind them.
Sonia could see an array of colors surrounding Eris, but the most dominant color was a silvery glow. The problem was that it was as dim as a candle and extending just a few inches from her body. This meant that she was running low on mana, Sonia turned her gaze above Eris’ head and there she saw a symbol forming a silvery feather. Up until now she didn’t know what it meant but now wasn’t the time to think about it.
Sonia turned her gaze towards Leo and she saw an orange symbol of a fist. The only thing she understood was that Eris was no match for Leo right now since the bluish glow surrounding his body was glowing brightly and extending a few meters out from his body.
Eris knew this herself even without an ability to see mana but what was strange was that Leo could easily catch up to them.... so why doesn’t he? She thought. It made her feel as if something was wrong.
A frown formed underneath Leo’s hood and he simply maintained a decent distance between them.
Eris took quick glimpses behind her as she continued to jump from branch to branch. She noticed that Leo was always looking around as if he was paranoid. Does it have something to do with those strange noises? She thought.
Leo was growing impatient, he couldn’t sense his companions and the strange noises had suddenly gone silent.... which somehow made him feel as if something was terribly wrong. Leo made strange growling sounds like a lion and clenched his fist.
If he let Sonia and Eris escape then they would surely report them to the guild hall and it only meant that they were going go get hunted down by adventurers and mercenaries. No one has ever escaped alive so they somehow gathered fortunes from plundering merchants and having some good times with the girls they had captured. No one was left alive so that no one could report them and the place was perfect for weakening powerful adventurers since they had to deal with a lot of monsters.
Leo dreaded the thought of what would happen to them if they let the two escape. The sounds had already gone quiet. And Eris had already expended too much mana, no matter how skilled she was, she didn’t have enough mana to break his barrier.
It was time to take a gamble.
*Roar!* Leo let out a thunderous roar like a lion as he kicked the branch as hard as he could. The large branch split in two as Leo shot towards Eris at a blinding speed, he extended his muscular arms and revealed golden brown fur covering his skin.
“Look out!!” Sonia screamed and Eris threw her aside. Eris clenched her teeth as she turned off her mana barrier in that split second before Leo bashed her back like a hammer with his fist. Eris’ eyes paled for a moment before she shot towards the ground like a missile.
A loud sound of stone shattering followed shortly after.
“Huk..!” Sonia landed towards a large mushroom that broke her fall but Eris had landed head on towards a large boulder that was turned into rubble from the impact. She still held her rapier in her hand even though a red liquid was forming a puddle underneath her face.
“E-Eris!!” Sonia screamed, Eris wasn’t moving. She thought that the mana Eris had, should’ve been enough to break her fall so why was she bleeding so much?
Sonia felt a rush of andrenaline shooting across her body, but as she was about to run towards Eris. Leo suddenly smashed down on the ground which made the ground tremble and shake for a moment. Sonia felt her heart shrink and a numbing sensation shot throughout her body. Her limbs were shaking from fear of the large hooded figure standind 10-feet tall, just a few meters away from Eris.
Leo lowered his hood covering his face and revealed his beast like jaw of a lion with a red mane surrounding his neck. Without uttering a single word Leo headed towards Eris with his fist emmitting a subtle orange glow.
“S-s-stop!” Sonia screamed again. But when Leo turned his bloodlusted eyes towards her. She took a step back “P..lease...” Sonia whispered in a crumbling voice “I’m begging you... we didn’t do anything to you!! Why are you doing this!?” She screamed again with tears forming underneath her eyes.
But Leo simply kept on staring at her in silence.
But to Sonia who was only greeted with silence it was sufficating. Eris was just there, bleeding and unconcious. Desperate and scared Sonia screamed “Just let us go you monster!”
“Monster...huh?” Leo’s muscles tense up for a moment but as he was about to dash towards Sonia.
Eris who was simply putting up an act, suddenly stood up and dashed towards Leo. Channeling all her mana at the tip of her blade it shined like a morning star as the winds spiraled violently like a drill and gathered at the tip of her blade in a split second.
Enduring the pain as if thousand of needles were shredding her body. Eris stomped forward with all her might and thrusted her rapier towards Leo who’s eyes were widened.
“Groaahhhh!!” Leo screamed as the sharp winds violently clashed with his mana barrier that was flickering so fast it was as if lightning was shooting across his body, forcing all of his mana to guard her attack. At that moment Leo felt a cold sensation running down his spine, his heart was racing so fast and he thought that he was going to die.
Eris suddenly felt a sharp pain in her abdomen, she clenched her teeth as she suddenly felt dizzy. Leo noticed the lack of strength in her attack and smashed her sword to the side.
As he flung her sword away, he followed up with a fist to her stomach.
“Cough!” Eris violently coughed up blood as she was sent flying towards a tree. Without her mana barrier she felt as if her stomach was being bashed right out of her. She fell to the ground with a thud and Leo’s face twisted in anger.
Sonia who was simply watching everything unfold like a movie was at a loss for words. She knew that Eris would die at this rate. Without even noticing, her legs were already moving. Running towards Eris with tears flowing down like a stream on her cheeks.
“Eris!” Sonia shouted with a broken voice.
Leo clenched his fist as veins popped on his forehead “You bitch....” he muttered under his breath and shot daggers at Eris who was returning a menacing glare. Blood was streaming down from her forehead and the armor in her abdomen had formed a large dent resembling a fist.
Leo originally wanted to keep her alive and have some fun with her but now he simply just wanted to tear her to shreds as he felt his head boiling like a furnace.
Sonia couldn’t hear anything, it was as if the world had gone silent. She couldn’t see anything else other than her friend that was laying on the ground. The momeny she reached her, her hands began glowing a faint green light, and then a similar green light engulfed Eris.
“R-run...” Eris whispered in a broken voice but Sonia shook her head.
“I’ll kill you!!” Leo screamed as he kicked the ground and shot towards Sonia.
But suddenly a purple rat appeared on top of Sonia’s head as if it was just suddenly summoned there by God. Leo’ eyes widened and he jumped back before he reached Sonia. It startled him but as he blinked the rat was gone.
“Tsk! God damnit!” Leo roared out, he was already pissed off but now it felt as if he was going to just urst from the sheer anger. Sonia was healing Eris, but she only had enough mana to stop her internal bleeding.
“I said run away..!” Eris tried to scream but her voice shriveled. At that moment Sonia suddenly felt a presence behind her. Leo shot towards Sonia and grabbed her hair.
“Huk..! Let me go!” Sonia struggled as Eris helplessly watched her. Her body felt numb so there was nothing she could do. Leo strengthened his grip and threw Sonia like a pebble towards a large tree “Fuck off you damn half breed!”
“Kyaah!!” Sonia screamed as she smashed towards the tree and her barrier flickered for a moment before it suddenly shattered to pieces. Her world suddenly darkened as she fell to the ground with a thud.
Leo turned his sights towards Eris and simply wanted to tear her apart. The fact that she had almost killed him, pissed him off so much. Eris who was healed to a degree but not enough to let her move, she tried to move her legs but was only greeted by a numbing sensation.
Leo rasied his fist but Rufus suddenly reappeared on top of Eris and let out a threatening *squeek*.
“W-what are..... y-..ou.. doing here..?” Eris asked in a pained voice. But Rufus simply glared at Leo and kept on squeeking. It was his job, to stay near them so that Lazarus could track them. But if he didn’t arrive in time then its job was to delay Leo as much as it could.
Rufus disappeared again and Leo was somehow taken aback. But he wasn’t stupid, he knew that Rufus couldn’t do much and he raised his fist and was about to split Eris’ head into two.
But Rufus suddenly reappeared on top of Leo’s head with his jaw wide open. Leo’s eyes widened, but before he could shove Rufus aside, it sank its fangs into his eyes. His barrier flickered for a moment but even with his barrier it felt as if his eyes was being poked with a stick.
Leo grabbed Rufus and squeezed him. Rufus struggled while squeeking in pain. “S-stop it....” Eris whispered but Leo was already pissed off. He just wanted the rat dead then and there without even thinking too much about its value.
“Fucking rodent!” Leo screamed as he crushed Rufus. But then the collar around its neck suddenly sent out bolts of lightning.
Leo’s barrier flickered and bolts of electricity somehow forced Leo to let go. Rufus landed on the ground making low squeeking noises.
Eris felt bad, but Rufus who’s instincts were already kicking in. Disappeared before Leo could stomp him. It reappeared again a few meters away and kept on running. Without looking back the rodent made its way to the bushes with blood trickling down its mouth.
Leo who was already raising his fist, smashed down towards Eris.
“Huak..!” Eris felt her stomach ripple violently and she coughed up even more blood. Several gruesome snapping sounds could be heard as Sonia was simply laying there unconcious.
“I’ll make you pay you damn wench!” Leo grabbed Eris’ neck and clenched it like a vicegrip as he lifted her up into the air.
Eris had dirt covering her dress and she had blood all over her clothes. She held Leo’s arm and tried to muster some strength but it was useless. She felt like she was trying to move a boulder. Eris’ face was starting to turn red but she still tried to struggle.
Not long after, her arms dropped and she simply shot daggers at Leo who was also gazing at her with a frown. Leo strengthened his grip and Eris’ vision slowly turned to a blur. Her rapier was on the ground and she didn’t have any mana left.
Sonia who was unconcious, slowly opened her eyes. She lazily glanced at Leo and there she saw that Eris was helplessly being strangled. But before Sonia could scream, she felt a hand on her mouth.
“Mmff! Nmmn!” Sonia struggled but then several crackling electricity formed a figure. Her eyes widened when her eyes reflected a man in a brown hood, his eyes a golden amber and his hair a crimson red. She didn’t know him, so she struggled but then she noticed that there was no colors surrounding the man.
“Stay quiet...” Lazarus said softly. “It’s me...La-... I mean Rex..”
“B-but Eris is..!” Sonia shifted her gaze towards Leo and at that moment. She suddenly saw an arrow englufed in electricity collide with Leo’s arm.
“Hraarghh !?” Leo let out a defeaning roar as his arms were flung to the side when the arrow shot out bolts of electricity. Eris fell to the ground and a figure emerged from the shadows.
Jim didn’t say anything, and simply pointes his bow towards Leo, his arrow engulfed in electricity.
*Cough cough* Eris spat out some blood with a mix of saliva. Her eyes fell towards Jim and a look of shock appeared on her face.
Sonia was at a loss for words. Lazarus held her in his arms and hid her behind some bushes just a few meters away and said. “Stay here, and don’t move. ”
“Wait....” Sonia whispered, she didn’t know what was happening and neither could she believe that the man infront of her was the man she knew as Rex. Because she remembered that the color of Rex’ eyes were blue and not a golden amber, but it didn’t matter.
There was one proof she had that it was really him, and that was the grey question mark above his head as well as the lack of colors surrounding him. Somehow confirming that it was him her eyes became watery. “Rex.....” her voice crumbled.. *Hic..* “I thought.... that..yo-you were..... and Eris... I-..” confused, relieved and desperate she wanted to tell him everything but it only came out as a mixture of incomprehensible words to Lazarus.
“Shhh... keep your voice down. I still need to help that other girl ” Lazarus shushed her as he left.
Veins popped on Leo’s forehead as he shot dagger at Jim. “What the hell are you doing!?” he let out a roar trying to threaten Jim.
But Jim simply stared at him with his bow pointed towards Leo.
Eris was simply laying down on the ground, feeling as if her body had just been trashed around and being grated with knives. She was confused that one of the bandits were trying to help her but then she suddenly heard a soft crunching sound.
“Mmph!?” Eris eyes widened when she felt a hand on her mouth. Her body was suddenly lifted into the air while Leo was simply keeping his eyes on Jim, not noticing that Eris had disappeared from plain sight.
Leo noticed a strange scent lingering in the air but when Jim noticed that Eris had vanished, he fired another arrow engulfed in electricity to try and distract Leo.
“Jim! God damnit!” Leo jumped to the side and the moment he glanced back at Eris, she was gone. “What the....” His brows slowly distorted to a frown and veins popped on his forehead. His instincts were screaming for him to kill Jim.
“I’m sorry Leo.. but you have to DIE!! ” Jim suddenly roared out and fired a barrage of arrows.
“YOU FUCKING BACKSTABBER!!” Filled with a feeling of betrayal and a burning white hot rage. Leo let out a roar before dashing towards Jim and jumping from side to side to evade his arrows.
While the two were busy engaging each other, Eris was floating in the air being carried like a princess while being invisible to the naked eye. She struggled since she herself couldn’t see the man carrying her but her struggles were weak, but then her face twisted in pain as she felt a sharp pain as if her chest was being forcefully gouged out and billions of needles were stabbing into her heart.
Strange thoughts lingered in her mind when suddenly several crackling electricity formed a figure. When they reached a bush several meters away, the hooded figure slowly placed her beside Sonia and layed her down on the ground gently while still covering her mouth. Eris clenched her teeth in pain.
“Eris...” Sonia had a look of relief when she saw Eris together with Lazarus. Although Eris herself was still shooting daggers at Lazarus whom she didn’t recognize despite the pain she was feeling from having her ribs broken.
“Who... are you..!?” Eris said softly with a voice carrying a tinge of anger and pain.
Lazarus didn’t bother answering her, he kept eyeing Eris from head to toe trying to scan for the damage in her body. Blood was all over her armor and dress, half of her face was covered in blood that was flowing down from her forehead. She was bruised all over and Sonia who wasn’t used to the sight had tears forming under her eyes just imagining the pain Eris was going through.
FS, damage report
-= Fractured ribs, internal bleeding, severe blood loss. Condition.... critical. =-
With this much done to her... how can she stay concious?
-= There seems to be an anomaly master since the blood she had lost would have already killed a normal person=-
Then she isn’t normal? Is she even human?
-= I have insufficient data to answer your question =-
Eris glanced at Sonia as if to ask ‘do you know who he is..?’ while Lazarus kept on staring at her.
“That’s Rex....” Sonia said softly with a crumbling voice. She felt an array of emotions swirling inside of her, she felt relieved that Lazarus had come to help them but watching Eris in a horrible condition just made her feel terrible.
“Huu..!” Eris let out a pained voice as she held a hand on her abdomen but when she tried to curl into a ball from the pain. She almost let out a scream from the sharp pain shooting in her chest but Lazarus suddenly covered her mouth.
“Elf..... can you heal her?” Lazarus said in a calm voice as if he was used to seeing people this way.
“I don’t have any mana left..... and... the potions were left with the horses...” Sonia downcast her gaze.
Lazarus threw a blue potion towards Sonia and said. “Can you use that ?”
“Yeah......” Sonia nodded while Eris still couldn’t believe that it was the person called ‘Rex’. After all, she remembered his eyes were as blue as the sky but the man infront of them had golden amber eyes. But she simply kept quiet seeing that he was trying to help them.
“Jim won’t last long against Leo. So I need to help him.” Lazarus then handed Sonia a white transparent flower that was giving off a faint white glow. “Use this, if things get too bad for her.”
“An Azalea flower...?” Sonia was surprised but she didn’t have time to just sit and watch.
“Shouldn’t we just run away while they’re busy?” Sonia asked as she finished gulping down the blue potion. Her hands then began glowing a faint green light and the very same light engulfed Eris as Sonia placed her hand on Eris who was breathing heavily with her sweat mixing in her with blood.
Lazarus felt a little regret since he just recently stole it from Jim to research it but since it was more important to keep Eris alive then he was more than happy to let the potion go. “ Leo can easily track us down and catch up to us. We won’t get far with your condition so I have to eliminate him...”
“Eliminate..? But.....” – Sonia
Several crackling lights engulfed Lazarus, leaving only a short reply off. “Stay here.”
“W-wait..!” Eris said softly as she tried to reach a hand out to Lazarus who had already left. She had so much to ask him but the pain in her body was too much for her to handle. So she reluctantly stayed put and simply clenched her teeth as her brows turned to a frown from the frustration.
“I’m sorry....I’m really sorry Eris... if it wasn’t for me...then.. you wouldn’t be like this...” Whispering in a soft voice, Sonia had a stream flowing down from her cheeks. “I’m so sorry.....”
“It’s alright...” Eris placed a hand on Sonia’s head and began stroking her ever so gently. The pain that she was feeling was already starting to subside. But as she stroked Sonia’s hair, her gaze fell towards the ring she wore in middle finger.
Eris had now even more questions for Lazarus. The appearance of the rat that stole her ring somehow made her feel as if it wasn’t a coincidence that Lazarus had appeared.