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A note from MelasD

5,700 word chapter.

Big shoutout to two wonderful prose stories on RoyalRoad.

The first goes to A Journey of Black and Red by Mecanimus! A unique take on a vampire story. It is one of the best rated stories on RR for a reason. Check it out!

The next goes to The Eagle's Flight by Quill. The best written story on all of RoyalRoad, in my honest opinion, and a wonderfull told fantasy story. Check it out!


90. Burning with Excitement

[Fairy - Lvl. 103]

“—now stop staring! It’s weird!”

The soft voice cut me free from my stupor and I slowly worked my jaw. I stared at the Fairy, mesmerized as I tried to get a better look at it— her?

She crossed her arms, harrumphing as I peered closer.

“What did I just say?!”

“Oh—”

I took a step back and quickly murmured an apology.

“Sorry. It’s just that…”

Trailing off, I shyly scratched a clawed finger on the side of my elongated mouth. The Fairy frowned.

“What?”

“Are you… a Fairy?”

She snorted and zipped up to the front of my face. The Fairy tapped her hand lightly on the top of my nose and pointed back to herself.

“Look at me.”

“I am looking.”

“Now identify me.”

“Uh, I already did.”

“Then isn’t it obvious that I’m a Fairy?!”

Flying back away from me, the Fairy let her features disappear under the ball of light holding her. Or was she holding it? I sensed some kind of magic— a type of distortion there. However, I wasn’t entirely sure what that was.

I turned excitedly to Daniel and spoke in a hushed voice.

“Daniel, she’s a Fairy! She’s what we’ve been looking for this whole time!”

The Human man had been blankly staring at the rock wall behind us— where the portal had been. My words however, snapped him back to reality and he faced me.

“She… she is?”

“Yes—”

“Didn’t we just go over this?”

The Fairy interrupted me by darting back and forth through the air between the two of us. Once she got our attention, she stopped just above our heads and her light dimmed once more.

“I am a Fairy, yes. And I just saved both your lives!”

She stared at us expectantly. I looked up at her and opened my mouth.

“You’re the one who told me where to go?”

“Yes, I was the one who did that with my amazing mind magic powers.”

“And you’re the one that opened up the portal?”

“Obviously, yes!”

Speaking impatiently, she gave me a frustrated look. I nodded slowly and spoke softly.

“That’s… amazing!”

Instantly, the Fairy brightened. Literally.

Her ball of light flashed for a moment and a giggle broke out from her, turning her frown to a grin.

“Why, thank you. I know I am quite amazing.”

The Fairy spoke, raising her chin. I nodded in agreement.

“You are definitely amazing! How did you do that? You can use both mind magic and space magic?!”

“Why, of course! I’m a Level 103 Fairy— that’s like child's play to me!”

“Woah!”

I gasped, staring up at her in astonishment. Daniel eyed me with a dubious look.

“Uh, Salvos, aren’t you being a little bit too obvious with the way you’re acting?”

I cocked my head.

“Acting?”

“She’s not doing any kind of acting, Mortal fool!”

The Fairy scoffed and waved a hand petulantly.

“I had just saved both of your lives from Belzu— such praises are expected.”

“They are!”

I happily agreed with her. Daniel raised an eyebrow at me but said nothing more. I turned back to the Fairy and spoke eagerly.

“So, what’s your name? I’m Salvos!”

I tried to proffer a hand, before realizing she had no reason to take it. The Fairy took it even still, her small hand no larger than one of my clawed fingers wrapped within my palm.

“I’m Lily. And as you’ve pointed out earlier, I am a Fairy. But not just any Fairy, I’m a Grand Spirit.”

I felt my mouth hang open before I quickly put it back together. I sputtered.

“A Grand Spirit? What is that?!”

“To put it simply to you as a Demon, it’s like an Archdemon, but for Spirits.”

“Huh.”

I had no idea Spirits and Demons eventually split in the kind of evolutionary paths they had for their Species. Since Druma and Mistshard had been Greater Spirits, I assumed they would become Archspirits or something of the like. But apparently not!

“That sounds so cool!”

“It really is. And I’m glad somebody here understands just how amazing I am.”

Lily shot Daniel a dirty look. The Human man blinked and pointed to himself.

“Me? What did I do?”

“Nothing. Which is exactly the problem.”

She flitted down to meet his gaze and began to explain.

“I had saved your lives from that Archdemon there when I had no reason to. I risked my life for two complete strangers— that is praiseworthy, no? Simple words of admonishment are enough. But since you’ve been so rude…”

Lily raised a hand and began casting a spell. She grinned viciously.

“Maybe I should send you back to Belzu and let him take care of you.”

He paled.

“Wait— no, I—”

I was about to step forward and defend my companion when the Fairy laughed.

“I’m kidding— you actually got scared. Are you even a [Hero]?”

The Human man flushed then blinked.

“Wait, you can… see my Class?”

“I’ve got a type of [Appraisal] Skill that lets me see through Obfuscation artifacts. I’m pretty great, aren’t I?”

I stared at her in wonder.

“You are!”

“Why are you so fascinated by her?”

Daniel asked me flatly.

“Because it’s true!”

He gave me a blank look, then glanced back at the stone wall behind us. Where the portal had been.

“That Demon— the one you saved us from— what did you say its name was again?”

“His name is Belzu. And he nearly killed both of you and me because you were so slow!”

“But you’re a Level 103 Fairy, how exactly is he going to do that?”

“Isn’t it obvious? It’s because he’s higher leveled than me! He’s Level 138— 35 whole levels above mine!”

“Wait…”

Daniel frowned.

“But he’s an Archdemon and you’re a Grand Spirit. He can’t be that much stronger than you, right?”

“Unfortunately, he is.”

Lily spoke in a more morose voice all of a sudden. She turned around and began flying down the cavern hallway.

“Follow me.”

I exchanged a glance with my companion and he shrugged. We followed after her, heading down a stone corridor as the Fairy’s voice echoed in the tunnel.

“This place… where do you think we are?”

“Uh, a cave?”

Daniel replied stupidly. Lily snorted and I quickly corrected his mistake.

“The Brilsum Ruins.”

She smiled.

“Correct.”

“How did you know that, Salvos?”

I faced the Human man and gave him the simple, obvious answer.

“Because if we had left the Dungeon, we’d have gotten a notification telling us that we exited it. But we didn’t.”

Lily nodded as she flitted ahead.

“This place— it’s still inside the Brilsum Ruins. In fact, we’re still within the inner city of the Dungeon. However, Belzu won’t think about checking this place because he has cleared it out before.”

“Cleared it out?”

The Fairy came to a stop as the tunnel opened up to a large cavern. There was a large buildup of rocks and dirt in the center— something which I thought was ruined by the Archdemon. However, I was wrong.

“This… is my Fairy Mound.”

“Your Fairy Mound?”

I blinked and faced her.

“It’s still mine— it had been built out of the rubble from the Fairy temple that used to be here. It was a nice place. And my brothers and sisters used to live here with me.”

“You’re talking about a Lair?”

I spoke up, understanding.

“Yes.”

She turned her head fractionally to look at me.

“This had been a Lair full of Fairies at around my level. There had been half a dozen of us. And after Belzu came here, now I’m the only one left.”

“Oh…”

I glanced back over at the Fairy Mound as Lily flew towards it. Climbing up the dirt and rubble, I followed after her with Daniel. It was honestly nothing more than a haphazard mess— something which I wouldn’t have differentiated from the ruined city outside.

Daniel peered over at one of the many holes— holes too large for either of us to enter, but just enough for a Fairy. Lily darted in and out of a few of these cracks and returned to us, sighing.

“Not all of them died, of course. Only two fell to Belzu before the rest escaped.”

“Escaped, how?”

“By returning to the Spirit Plane.”

She replied simply. Blinking, I took a step back. Daniel however, nudged me forward.

I approached the Fairy from behind as she cursed under her breath— mad that she had been abandoned by her companions.

“Uh, excuse me Ms Lily, but how exactly did… your companions go back?”

“The same way I brought you here— with space magic.”

She replied matter-of-factly. My eyes grew round as she gave her answer.

“You mean… they can travel to and from the Spirit Plane using their own magic?”

“Of course! Why do you think us Fairies are sent to the Mortal Realm in the first place? We come here to practice our space magic and learn how to go back. I’m still in the middle of learning mine. I’ve managed to make the return trip once before— but it was purely chance. When I tried to do it again, I failed. And I haven’t gotten a Skill for it either, so now I’m stuck here.”

Grousing, Lily crossed her arms and swore even more. I tapped a finger on my chin.

“And space magic is some sort of attribute that’s a part of your Subspecies?”

“What? No.”

She spun to face me and flew up and down, grinning.

Fairies aren’t born with space magic inherent to their Species. And my Subspecies relates to mind magic.

Her voice echoed in my mind as I stared up at her in awe. Daniel didn’t hear it and he gave me an odd look.

“Why are you gawking, Salvos?”

“I-It’s nothing.”

Shaking my head, I focused on getting what I wanted. The question I had hoped to have the answer for.

“Ms Lily—”

“Just Lily is fine.”

“Right, Lily.”

I cleared my throat, although it came out more of as a growl.

“If your Subspecies relates to… mind magic. But you practice space magic. How exactly do you get Skills related to space magic?”

“With my Class, of course!”

Lily smirked and flew up to my face. She rested both her hands on my nose as she fluttered her eyelashes prettily.

“Didn’t you know? Of course not. Neither the Demon King or Spirit Lord educates their subjects at all. Unlike my Queen who shares everything she can with us. She’s truly glorious.”

“Oh, uh, I’m not with the Demon King.”

“Hmph, well the point stands since you don’t know. But it’s something that very few knows— Spirits and Demons can have a Class on top of having a Subspecies. You just have to meet the necessary requirements for it.”

I felt my heart begin racing in my chest as my excitement tripled. I looked at Lily with twinkling eyes as she waited for me to ask the follow up question.

“And… what are the requirements for it?”

She smiled and booped my nose before flying back up.

“You just have to hit Level 100, silly!”

“...what?”


“...what?”

Salvos stared up at the floating Fairy as she hovered in the air with a self-satisfied look on her face. The Demon opened her mouth, but Daniel spoke over her first.

“Demons and Spirits can get a Class at Level 100? Like Humans can get a second Class?”

“Exactly.”

Lily’s voice was exuberant, almost excited to be talking about it.

“Here’s the thing— Spirits and Demons are not monsters. We’re Spirits and Demons. And do you know what makes us different from the monsters with Subspecies that populate the Mortal Realm?”

Salvos answered hesitantly.

“Uh… they still have to eat and sleep?”

“That’s true for some Spirits and Demons as well. No— what makes us different from those monsters is that we can have a Class. At Level 100, monsters mutate as they get a second Subspecies. At Level 100, Humans, Elves, Cyclops grow even stronger as they get a second Class. But at Level 100, Demons and Spirits become more as we get a Class.”

Daniel listened on as the Fairy gave her lecture. Honestly, he should have expected it was something like that. Surely there had to have been something Spirits and Demons gained when they hit Level 100. After all, Humans got a second Class. Elves got a second Class. And Kobolds generally got a second Class, although apparently some of them could get a Subspecies at that level.

It was something he was told with the royalty-level of education he got from the Elutra Kingdom.

“So, are you saying all Salvos needs to do to make trips between different planes is to… get to Level 100 and get a Class on space magic?”

Daniel asked after Lily was finally finished. The Fairy shook her head.

“It’s not that easy. If you really want to make a trip between the different planes by yourself, you’ll have to then get that Class to Level 100. And even then, you might not get a Skill for it, and casting a portal spell that cuts through the planes isn’t easy.”

“But your companions seemed to do it just fine.”

“My brothers and sisters were Level 100 [Space Mages]. I am not.”

Lily answered Salvos’ question simply as she floated down to her. Daniel frowned.

“Aren’t you going to ask why she even needs to learn such a spell? You’re not worried that she might use it to go to the Spirit Plane?”

“I’m not stupid. I can see that she doesn’t have a summoning collar. Such things happen occasionally. Demons getting stranded in the Mortal Realm— although the last time I met one when it happened the Demon grew to become an Archdemon and nearly destroyed every Human kingdom to the west. That was about a thousand years ago.”

She then gave the young man a smug smile which he found rather condescending.

“And why should we be afraid of a single Demon? Even if the Devil himself showed up in the Spirit Plane, my Queen would take care of him.”

“Even the Devil?!”

Salvos stared at Lily, aghast. The Fairy smiled.

“Yes, even him.”

Daniel wasn’t sure how much he believed that, however he could tell by the way Salvos had been pretty much fangirling over the Fairies that she believed every single word of it. He’d probably have to talk to her about people over exaggerating or just flat out idolizing others who might not actually be as amazing as they were seen to be, but that was a conversation for another time.

“So you have no problem with Demons— even after that Archdemon, Belzu, killed two of your brothers and sisters. You still saved us. Why?”

“Well, first of all—”

Lily waved a hand in the air as she explained.

“I didn’t actually like either Arthur or Tania in the first place. The both of them could have died for all I care!”

Daniel exchanged a look with Salvos but the Fairy continued.

“And secondly, no. I have nothing against Demons. I know you Humans like to think that all Demons are bad and evil. But us Fairies don’t care. I have nothing against any Demons except for Belzu. And that’s why I saved you two.”

“To mess with him.”

Daniel spoke knowingly. She grinned.

“Exactly.”

Fairies really are tricksters— when she saved us, I thought that wasn’t the case. But now… The young man watched as Lily pranced through the air around Salvos, laughing in delight as she recalled what Belzu had been saying before they escaped.

“He was being all threatening-like and suddenly, you two were gone! Imagine how stupid he must have felt. I wish I could’ve seen the look on his face.”

Salvos giggled with her, although the sound that came out of her in her Demon form made Daniel cringe. She’s really terrifying like that.

Lily took note of this as she flew up to his face and tilted her head.

“What’s wrong, [Hero]? Scared of your own Demon friend?”

“What— no!”

He sputtered and backed up defensively.

“I’m not scared of her. She just looks a little… scary?”

The Fairy snorted.

“That’s the same thing, isn’t it?”

“No, it isn’t. Being scared of her means that I would be actively afraid of her, want to run away from her and have to fight to even stay around her. Thinking she looks terrifying at times just means that— that I’m not used to how she looks. And she likes that, right?”

Daniel glanced over at Salvos for assistance, and she bared her teeth back.

“Yep!”

“See? Terrifying!”

Lily’s gaze swept between the two of them. It glazed over Daniel before stopping at Salvos. Slowly, she nodded.

“I see. Alright then.”

“What?”

Salvos cocked her head. Lily smiled.

“It’s nothing— it’s a good thing. That your friend here is fine with you being a Demon. However, not all Humans are like that. You’ll eventually be scorned and hated for what you are. Others will find out the truth about you and you will be shunned. That’s what has happened to many Demons before you. And what happens next… depends on the Demon themselves.”

Daniel remembered what the Fairy said earlier. About the Archdemon from a thousand years ago. He felt a sliver of sweat appear on his forehead as Salvos nodded slowly, not really understanding what Lily was saying. At least, not in the way Daniel understood it.

Lily placed a hand on Salvos’ snout-like face and spoke softly.

“You’re a Demon.”

“I’m Salvos.”

“Yes, but you’re a Demon, Salvos. Be proud of that fact.”

Nodding slowly, Salvos didn’t argue back this time. However, she did scowl and cast a glare at Daniel.

“I would but Daniel here keeps on making me stay in my Mortal Form.”

“And he says he’s not scared of you. Maybe he might just be a little bit scared.”

Lily whispered conspiratorially to Salvos. The Demon nodded excitedly.

“You think?! That’s great!”

“What a coward of a [Hero].”

“I’ve got a [Hero] scared of me!”

“I bet he pees his pants—”

“Alright, that’s enough. I can hear you two, you know?”

They broke up with a giggle and Daniel sighed. He turned to the Fairy as she zipped through the air, carefree and laughing.

“Lily, do you think you can help Salvos and I escape this place? If what you’re saying is true and we’re still in the inner city of the Brilsum Ruins, then that means Belzu can come here anytime and kill us.”

“I told you, he won’t search for you here. This is a collapsed part of the city anyway. He’s never come back after that one time— and that was because stupid Arthur went ahead and antagonized him.”

“But… you’re antagonizing him now?”

Daniel pointed out the obvious. She waved a hand dismissively.

“He doesn’t even know that I’m the one who helped you two escape. Since this is a Platinum Rank Dungeon, he probably assumed you two had some sort of artifact or something. After all, what kind of adventurer goes into a dangerous Dungeon without some sort of quick escape item?”

The young man shifted his feet nervously and Salvos blinked.

“Escape… item?”

“You mean the [Hero] never told you?”

“No. What is that—”

“It’s nothing, Salvos. We’ll talk about that later.”

Truth be told, Daniel had forgotten those existed. And while they were out of his pay grade, he was embarrassed that they never even crossed his mind.

He turned back to Lily.

“So, do you think you can help us get out?”

“Of course. But the furthest I can open you a portal to is just at the edge of the Brilsum Ruins. Anything else would take me some time and effort— and I don’t wish to spend any more than I already have on you two.”

“Are you not coming with us?”

Salvos asked, almost worried.

“You’re just going to stay here when that Archdemon can discover you at any time?”

“It’s not like Belzu will stay here forever. Whatever he’s doing— he’ll leave eventually. So I’ll just wait here, until then. Maybe one of my brothers and sisters would even decide to check on me and help me go back. Although I’m sure they think I’m dead.”

“But—”

“I’ll be fine, I’m amazing, remember?”

She stopped and stared at the Fairy. Slowly working her mouth, she nodded.

“Yep, you’re amazing. I just thought…”

Salvos trailed off.

“It’s nothing.”

“Then get going already!”

“Wait, one last thing.”

Daniel cut off the Fairy as she began to cast a spell. The portal that almost flickered to existence faded away and Lily flew up to him.

“What?”

“This Belzu… you fought him, right?”

“I did. Why?”

“What kind of magic does he use.”

“Isn’t it obvious with what he’s doing?”

“Uh… Salvos and I thought he was using curses or illusions.”

“Well you’re right. Because he uses both.”

Daniel blinked, taking a step back. Then he slowly nodded.

“I see. Thanks, Lily.”

“No problem, you weak [Hero]. Now both of you, get out of here. This is a Fairy Mound. Don’t you know you Humans are not allowed near our Fairy Mounds anymore? Not after you kept building your temples around them!”

Salvos piped up with a raised hand.

“But I’m not Human!”

“Well, you’re with one.”

Lily snorted as the spell finished casting. A portal opened up, leading to the dark, orange canyons just beyond the Brilsum Ruins. Daniel stepped through it without much hesitation, however he noticed how apprehensive Salvos was with going through it.

She thought she had another companion, huh? It got her excited. Now she must say goodbye again.

The Demon’s voice was soft as she spoke through the portal, even from their side.

“Do you… think we’ll see you again?”

Lily looked at Salvos for a moment, then snorted.

“Only if you come back here, because I’m not leaving, you are.”

“I see…”

Nodding to herself, Salvos waved at the Fairy and the portal closed. Her shoulders sagged as she turned around and trudged after Daniel. They quietly made their way up and away from the large crater that held the Brilsum Ruins, making sure to keep low and away from the Mindreapers.

Now leaving [Dungeon: Brilsum Ruins].

They made their way through the canyon, walking along the deep crevices left with their markings to return to their camp. However, the entire time, Salvos seemed a little down. That was quite the contrast to how she had just been earlier.

Eventually, Daniel couldn’t keep silent anymore, and said something.

“So… you now know how to go back to the Netherworld.”

Brightening a little, Salvos glanced over at him.

“I guess I do, huh?”

“And it’s even something you really like— leveling.”

“It is!”

The cheery demeanour of the Demon returned once more, and Daniel couldn’t help himself but laugh. Or maybe that was the lack of sleep getting to him.

“What’s so funny?”

“It’s— nothing. You’re just quite simple, despite being incredibly complex at times. I find that amusing.”

“Huh.”

“Don’t just ‘huh’ me.”

He sighed, rubbing at his temples. Then turned back— seeing the sun begin to rise on the horizon. As night turned to day and their adventure to the Dungeon over.

“You know, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

“What do you mean? Lily said we almost died. And I almost died, a lot!”

“I know, but… usually, these kinds of things ends with some kind of a big battle, you know? Compared to that this was…”

He trailed off and shrugged.

“Anticlimactic.”

“Huh.”


 

And then, they celebrated.

Baris had made a full recovery. Everyone who had been waiting just outside of the room cheered when they heard the news. They had not been anticipating any kind of bad news, however they had been afraid— afraid of what could happen.

Edithe had been afraid too. Things could have easily taken a turn for the worst. The poison had crippled a Level 81 [Mage]. Especially [Mages].

While [Mages] were generally weak because of their low [Vitality]— although this was a rather common misconception, [Mages] could have high [Vitality], they just raised their [Endurance] instead as it was good for their mana— high level [Mages] knew of this weakness. So, they trained General Skills to make themselves more durable.

Baris had been one of them. He prioritized having a good Class and good Skills above all else. As such, in life, he had been rather slow at leveling. At least, compared to his son who was now Diamond.

But everything went well. The father and son were now chatting happily out in the main hall of the building while excited members of the Valiant Dreamers Company— and trainees stood more to the periphery, but were relieved to see their respectable and trustworthy founder alive.

Edithe herself was talking to Paige and a few others, drinking some alcohol and enjoying the light snacks set about. It was a celebration, after all. Almost a party.

“—and you weren’t there, Edithe, but Hadrian had been completely helpless with dealing with our accounts and clients the whole time!”

“Right, I was busy with… Rachel.”

The red haired woman glanced over at the little girl, sitting at the edge of their table, saying nothing and keeping to herself. She gestured for Rachel to come a little closer to her, however she simply shrunk further back into her seat.

Paige didn’t notice this subtle gesture and downed a mug of ale.

“Well, you do you! I’m just saying though, she’ll be fine. Honestly, she’s completely safe in the headquarters. Ever since that girl—”

“Salvos.”

“Yeah, her. Ever since she broke into the building that easily, we’ve set up some better protective wards. And there’s almost always a team of Gold Ranks in there. Even now, Sam’s team stayed back to oversee the delivery of some Thornserpant parts. What’s there for you to worry about?”

She waved a hand drunkenly, and Edithe nodded. That was true. And while the Harrowed Vindicators were dangerous, would they really attempt to siege a company building all for a girl while the people they were really after were nowhere closeby? That wouldn’t possibly happen, no matter what kind of scenario it was.

But what Edithe was worried about was Rachel herself. She was always so closed off. So afraid of others— except for Edithe. And how much of that was because of Edithe’s attempts at getting her to open up and how much of it was because Edithe was Salvos’ friend… the red haired woman couldn’t tell.

Taking another sip from her mug, Edithe slowly stood up and excused herself.

“Sorry, but I’ve got to go.”

“Aw, already? Well, fine. All the more for me!”

Paige greedily grabbed more food from the table as the others there fought with her for it. Edithe proffered a hand to Rachel and nodded at her.

“Come on, let’s go.”

“O-oh, ok.”

The two left the hall and went outside, leaving the noise and crowd behind. Rachel paused mid step and glanced back nervously, speaking softly to Edithe.

“Where are we going?”

“We’re going back.”

“A-are you sure? I can stay there longer. You looked like you were having fun with your friends.”

Edithe lightly placed a finger on her chin.

“Hm, they were too loud. Plus, you didn’t look like you were having fun. So, I decided we should both go back.”

“I-I see…”

Edithe had been about to take Rachel’s hand and walk back to the city when the door to the hall opened. Light escaped out into the darkness of night and a tall, lanky figure walked out with a grunt. She blinked.

“Alchemist Gabriel?”

“Hrmph, you’re…”

“Edithe, Sir.”

“Just Alchemist Gabriel, is fine.”

“R-Right.”

The [Alchemist] dusted at his coat and stretched his back before stepping up beside both Rachel and Edithe. The three started back into the direction of the city, although the two girls were at an awkward distance away from the man.

“Are you going back too, Alchemist Gabriel? So soon after the party began?”

“I’m not one for parties.”

He grunted and said nothing else.

“Oh, well, we’re the same.”

Edithe noticed how Rachel once again seemed to grow even smaller than she already was with someone else around and was glad that she made her decision to take her back. However, she wished that she had made the decision sooner so they wouldn’t be in the middle of this awkward walk.

Gabriel said nothing, even as they approached the gates of the city. Dim, orange torches lit up the sides of the walls as a group of guards gathered around the rolled up portcullis. Edithe frowned.

Why are there so many guards? Was there a monster sighting or something?

She approached the first guard— but Gabriel reached them before her.

“What’s wrong, guard? What’s with the crowd?”

“Oh, you’re with the Valiant Dreamers Company, aren’t you? We had just been about to send a messenger your guys’ way.”

A messenger? Edithe hurriedly rushed up besides Gabriel and spoke quickly.

“What’s going on?”

“We’re not exactly sure right now, but we think there’s—”

Gabriel narrowed his eyes as he looked up beyond the walls. Then he broke out into a run and barged into the city. Edithe blinked and stared up, confused at what made the man react so suddenly.

Then her eyes grew wide.

Smoke? But that’s from—

“Take care of the girl!”

Edithe broke out into a run. She dashed past the guards, leaving Rachel behind to the low leveled guards at the gates. If she had been in the right state of mind, she would have realized how stupid that was. The Harrowed Vindicators would have easily slaughtered them all and got to the girl.

But she wasn't in the right state of mind. Her mind was racing along with her as she darted through the streets of Viechester. She turned corner after corner, not even thinking about summoning Druma or Mistshard with [Quick Summon]. Because she had to see if what she saw really was coming from where she thought it was.

And her eyes didn’t lie to her.

Edithe came to a stop right before the Valiant Dreamers Company headquarters. The building was lit ablaze— flames rising, raging like the morning sun during dawn. She watched the fire dance, making a corybantic spread throughout the building.

The [Summoner] nearly dropped to her knees, but gathered herself. She ran through the gates, beginning her summoning process for Mistshard.

But just as she made it to the front door, an explosion blasted the inside of the building. Figures burst out, trying to flee the scene as a storm gathered in the heavens above.

Rain and lightning fell and Edithe raised a hand, pointing it at the nearest figure.

“Stop!”

She yelled as a spell blasted out. The Gold Rank adventurer was not sure what would have happened. It was a blast of ice— one she learned from Mistshard.

Everytime she had used it against Paige or another Gold Rank, they would have easily blocked it. It was not a spell used by l [Ice Mages] at her level, but by those 10 or 15 levels below her.

And yet, the figures fleeing the Valiant Dreamers Company headquarters fell. Every single one of them had been struck and downeed by the spell. The magic freezing the first man completely, while leaving the others incapacitated on the ground.

Edithe had been in the middle of casting her next spell, but she stopped. Every single one of the running figures had been easily halted by her. Were… were they even assassins?

Groans broke out from those that lay on the ground, and she slowly walked over to them, suddenly feeling a sudden surge of fear that she might have attacked bystanders. Or worse, members of her own company. Trainees who accidentally got caught in this mess.

And when she got to the frozen man, lying dead on the ground, her eyes did grow wide in recognition. The man there was someone she had known. But not someone she had liked.

Blake. Or—

“The Iron Champions Company.”

A voice broke the red haired woman from her thoughts. She spun around, raising a hand warily, but lowered it when all she saw was Gabriel. Behind him, the fire that had taken over the headquarters had been snuffed out by the deluge of water he had summoned, and charred corpses were strewn about in the main lobby of the building.

But those weren’t corpses from the Valiant Dreamers Company. They were far too many. And the burns were far too deadly.

“They had assaulted our headquarters. They hired not assassins— they did not even try to pretend they had no hand in this.”

Gabriel spoke again, once again snapping Edithe’s attention to him, and this time, she noticed the body he was carrying. Sam…?

The Gold Rank adventurer who volunteered to stay behind and look after the headquarters during the party was dead. And slowly, Edithe met Gabriel’s gaze.

She watched as his jaw clenched, not even realizing that a small crowd had gathered behind her. Slowly followed by members of her own company who had been called from the party. They came and they all saw Gabriel standing there, in front of the damaged building, and asked questions— wondering what happened.

Edithe knew. And yet, she couldn’t say anything. Her heart frozen in fear at what was to come. At what this meant.

“The Iron Champions Company has assaulted our company’s headquarters! They have slain a Gold Rank team and a dozen other Silver Ranks without due cause or warning!”

Gabriel bellowed, drawing the attention of everyone nearby. The adventurers, the guards, and the bystanders. Edithe felt her fist clenched into balls as the [Alchemist] finished.

“This is war!”

 

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A note from MelasD

FIRST ART IS A CHARACTER SHEET OF SALVOS IN HER MORTAL FORM

IT'S AMAZING. By Tsuurot, the artist for Beware of Chickieeeeeee. Information here.

Contact Information: Artist: J.C. "Tsuu" (aka Tsurot) Discord ID: Tsuu#8796 Agent: Samuel White Discord ID: WhiteSamurai#3996 Email: [email protected] Business Hours: 12pm - 8pm Eastern Standard Time Business Inquiries & Commissions: [email protected]

 


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MelasD

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