Zennardi Magi Academia: A Magic Thiefby
Chapter 18: Kayrus, Meeting a Girl in a Secluded Place
The girl leads him to a spot that although not far from the main road, is secluded enough due to the rows of hedges and trees that circle it on two sides. The light of the Moonlamps installed on the street light barely illuminates the place, making it pretty dark as well. It has all the makings of where bad things usually happen.
“So you have what you want, privacy,” Kayrus says to the girl whose back is facing him. “Now tell me what's the point of this meeting.”
The blonde girl glances over her shoulder at him before looking away again.
“Do you know something that is called House Augustus?”
Kayrus, of course, knows of that name. And he can already suspect which direction this discussion is going.
“Yeah, of course.”
“Good, that saves me some time.”
“So what about it do you want to know, you obviously know about them more than I do.”
“Of course, but my intention is how much about us do you know?”
Kayrus shrugs. “As much as every other person knows, I guess.”
“As much as people know you say…'' she nods her head in a mocking tone, before finally turning around to face Kayrus eye to eye. The piercing look in her eyes is filled with resentment. “Then you know nothing about us, is what you’re saying.”
The girl Helena steps closer to Kayrus until the young man can hear her breath. All the time, their eyes are locked on each other in a seemingly glaring contest.
“So then, Scion of House Augustus, tell me what I do need to know about your family?”
Kayrus taunts her, and she seems to bite it.
“House Augustus is not just a wealthy and powerful family in both Redora and the Magus Society, we build them with our own hands. We stand as an ancient family whose very existence helps maintain the peace and balance of this world.” she starts into an anger-fueled history lesson that almost sounds like a rant. “War, Famine, Chaos, we are the ones that helped keep those from engulfing this world. Our history stretches for centuries, our work is endless and far-reaching, our sacrifice unmatched. It is for these reasons that the survival and prestige of House Augustus must continue at all costs. And yet, and yet….”
Her body is noticeably shaking and her face slowly turns red.
“And yet, our patriarch chose a nobody like you, an outsider as his Apprentice. Do you know what that means?! That means he chose you as his heir, an outsider as an heir! Absurd!”
Kayrus’ instincts take over his entire body and make him take a few steps back. All his senses are screaming Danger! Danger!
“I don’t know what you’re thinking of, but I don’t think-”
The Gao student screams with everything she has, startling even Kayrus. He distances himself even more from the girl, who now looks down to the ground with a still shaking body and hands clenched into a pair of tight fists.
“My entire life,” she starts to speak with a voice so emotional it’s almost unclear to hear, “My entire life I was told to sacrifice a lot of things to be raised as an heir. Friends, playtime, even happiness…I throw them all away for that promised future! That’s what they told me all those years! And yet….And yet……”
In a very sudden move, Helena takes out a wand from the inside of her jacket. It’s a very unusual wand due to its color, pearl white but with deep purple linings running through its length like sickly tree roots, and the girl is pointing the wand right to Kayrus’ face.
“IF ONLY YOU DIDN’T EXIST!”
In that instant, in just a split second, Kayrus’s eyes catch a spark appearing from the tip of the white’s wand. His instincts take over his entire body again, forcing it to enter the fight or flight mode, where it has Kayrus jump to the side. Rolling over as his body touches the ground, Kayrus witnesses his reflex action being justified as he sees a bolt of fire shoot out from Helena’s wand. If he is late for just a tenth of a second, that fire would have hit him directly in his face. Fortunately for him, it only hit the ground and left behind a burning area around a foot wide.
“Wait, what are you-”
She shoots out another fireball from her wand. Again, Kayrus barely manages to avoid being burned by jumping and rolling to his side. This time, however, Helena doesn’t stop with just one attack, for she shoots out another fireball upon another fireball, forcing Kayrus to continue jumping around from the fires.
“Listen! We can talk this out!” Kayrus tries to reason with her when she stops her fiery attacks. Both students are breathing heavily.
“There’s no way you can talk out of this thing, you have ruined my life!” she lobs out another fireball at him.
“Ah, shit…” he jumps to the side to evade the now larger fireball.
There’s nothing that Kayrus can do right now besides avoiding the fireball while hoping Helena will tire out sooner or later. He has left his Conduit gloves back in his room, and he doesn’t have anything with him right now to help him in this clearly one-sided fight. All he has right now in his student uniform are just his new wallet, the school rulebook, and the pocket watch he got from the Principal.
“Come on, think Kayrus, think! There has to be a way to get out of here alive!” he mutters to himself after rolling over the ground for the umpteenth time to dodge Helena’s wrath.
Every time Kayrus dodges the fireballs, they hit the ground around them, making the area little by little littered by small pockets of burning fire. Soon, Kayrus finds himself having his routes for evasion getting fewer with each attack.
“Shit!’ he steps to his left, barely dodging a small but rapid fireball. “Uagh!”
The young man now realizes he is now blocked at almost all sides by the magical fires. He looks up to his adversary and just realizes that this is what the girl has been aiming for when he sees the smug smile on her face.
“I get you now, die!’ she shoots out a fireball, this time larger than the ones before.
Kayrus aims to dodge the fireball by jumping over the fires just as the fireball grazes him.
…The new fireball speeds up, throwing his timing in vain as it is going to hit him faster than he predicts.
With almost no option, Kayrus puts up both his arms to shield his face. He can only hope the fireball will not hurt and burn him as much, but he realizes that’s just wishful thinking as the magical fire is about to reach him.
However, his worst imagination doesn’t come to fruition for something that none of the combatants ever think can happen.
When the large fireball should have made contact with Kayrus, a beam of white light circles in front of him, taking damage in place of the young man. The fireball's heat instantly dissipates around the light circle, extinguishing the flames as if they never exist.
Both combatants look at the source of the light, the now shining school blazer that Kayrus wears. Or rather, something inside that jacket is shining.
Kayrus reaches out for the pocket inside and takes out the glowing item that just saved his life: the pocket watch from the Dourn Augustus.
"How…" he mutters in amazement.
But his wonder is cut short, for Helena casts another fireball at him. But just as before, a circle of light shields him from the fire attack, with him being totally unscathed. Not taking this development kindly, Helena shoots out more fireballs. But none of them have reached their intended target thanks to the pocket watch.
"Incredible, now I can fight her!" Kayrus smiles at his now increased chance of survival.
"Who are you?! What is that thing?!"
As much as Helena shouts at him, Kayrus doesn't know the answers either. All he knows before is that the pocket watch is just a pocket watch given to him by someone important. And now since the item is revealed to be more than just that, the motive of the Principal giving the item in the first place becomes even more mysterious.
"Fine! If you don't want to tell me, I'll gouge the answers off your dead body!"
The blonde girl then swings down her wand to her right. Then, like a clock's hand, she swings her wand in slow motion. And just as the numbers on a clock are arranged, floating crystal-like flames are conjured up around her.
She swings down her wand again.
The shaft and tip of the white wand now glow bright red like forge fire before extending themselves like a whip. The cracking sound it makes as it moves in the air is like the cracking of a wood being burned.
Kayrus doesn't know what spells she just uses, but he is very certain things are going to be much worse for him.
"Are you sure we can't talk this out?!"
She swings her fiery whip at him, although all of her swings are blocked successfully by the light shield. But she is not discouraged by that as she continues to whip at him from every angle she can. Up, down, diagonally, and horizontally, the whipping is seemingly never-ending.
"I'm gonna kill you!"
"It's no use! You can't break this-"
At that moment Kayrus realizes that some of the flaming crystals around her have disappeared and fly to his left and right, two on each side. The crystal-like things then rotate themselves at an incredible speed, pointing their pointy ends to him.
He jumps back, narrowly avoiding what looks like red burning beams that are shooting out of the flaming crystals.
But Kayrus has no time to finish his words, for other crystals then move and shoot out similar beams at him.
Leaping to the side in an almost zig-zag pattern allows him to dodge the fire beams, some manage to hit his shield and stop him in his tracks. Yet, every time he does so, other crystals begin to encircle him from the flanks and shoot out their beams. So the former thief is forced to keep moving to survive, and the Gao student keeps on with her pressuring attacks of flaming crystals and burning whip.
It is almost like he is being played by her.
Sooner or later, Kayrus is the one who is tired out first, the opposite of his initial plan. His breath becomes quick and short and sweats the size of corn kernels drop down from his forehead.
"Shit…can't move no more…" he tries to catch his breath.
Seeing her target exhausted to his limit, Helena can't help but forms a wide grin on her face and laugh.
"There's nothing else you can do, peasant! It's time for you to die!" She points at him with her whip, immediately sending all twelve of her crystals at him.
Kayrus is trying to muster the energy for one last evasion, but his body refuses to do so.
"Fuck…is this the end?"
"Are you sure about that?"
That sudden mysterious voice from behind him gives Kayrus one last jolt of energy. But before he can turn to see who it was, streams of water are shooting out from behind him, all hitting every single fire crystal flying at Kayrus.
"You," shouts Helena when she looks at the male student standing behind Kayrus.
"Me?" He steps forward, revealing himself to Kayrus, "I'm just his classmate, Edgar Rath."
It's the boy from Nelgar.