Venica tried to run to Lucian, but Alice’s blade was quickly unsheathed and blocked her path. The girl glared, “You dare to stop me? Do you know who I am? You’re just a bitch the family is taking care of, who gave you the right to act so arrogant? I’m the daughter of Gaton, sister of Richard; I have the blood of the family! Who do you think you are to stop me?”
Some of the young nobles present were quite close to Venica, and a few stood out to hoot in support of her. Those who weren’t as foolish recognised Alice and went quiet, watching as things progressed.
For her part, Alice didn’t grow enraged at the insults, “At least you know this is your only chance to save him. Tch, if only you could use that smarts where it mattered. Here, another order from His Grace. I was going to announce it after we returned, but I can just say it here.”
Handing over another letter, Alice amplified her voice, “Venica, you are henceforth banished from the Archeron Family. You have one hour from now to return to the island and pack, but effective right afterwards you will be considered a stranger to the family and disallowed on Archeron property.”
“W-What?” Venica shuddered in shock, not able to bring herself to even open the letter and verify. Alice just shook her head and left for the Archeron island, leaving the girl to deal with the collapse of her world herself.
It felt like her heart had stopped beating, her limbs gone icy cold and stiff. Even collapsing to the ground felt like it took effort, and she couldn’t even imagine how life would be like once she was banished. As she looked at all of the friends that had sworn to be united through life and death, many of them just avoided her gaze and dispersed.
Lucian seemed strangely calm as they entered the Archeron island, asking the moment they stepped foot through the portal, “Where is Richard? I have something to say to him, a deal I believe he’ll be interested in. It can make up for that magic soul.”
“A deal?” Alice smiled, “What kind of deal?”
“That’ll have to wait until I see—” He suddenly went silent, looking down in disbelief at the dagger stabbed into his heart, “Soul-eating dagger… He’s actually trying… to attack us…”
She leant forward and whispered into his ear, “Your uncle should be dead by now, too.”
Lucian’s eyes widened, but he could no longer speak.
Within the Deepblue, the legendary mage who had been dragging a dragon along finally landed. Her face showed great fatigue, golden hair hanging listlessly down her forehead, but the pitiful dragon behind her was frothing at the mouth.
Thankfully, things were much easier now. Activating an existing formation on the terrace, she opened a portal to her semi-plane and headed through. While she could have made the jump from any place, this was the only passage stable enough to let the dragon survive.
About an hour later, she jumped back out while humming a little tune. Nonchalantly opening another portal to her bedroom, she suddenly sensed something and looked towards the back of the tower. About ten mages were hard at work on the top floor; she could easily use the formation with a wave of her hand, but maintenance work after that needed the work of a dozen decently-levelled mages for half a day.
Looking in their direction, she found all of them busy at work with nothing seeming odd. That slight feeling of discomfort had disappeared as well, so she paid it no mind and prepared to get a good rest. She had gotten a good harvest already, and she felt she deserved a reward.
The busy mages had learnt long ago that they had to work whether she was around or not. Even from another plane, the legendary mage had far too many methods to monitor them. Besides, the rewards for this work were quite generous; nobody wanted to lose their job.
A mage who was busy changing magic crystals stood up and wiped away the sweat on his face, stretching his limbs as he gazed towards the beautiful scenery of Floe Bay in the distance. This was something most of the Deepblue’s mages liked to do when they worked here; the scenery was inspiring and revitalising by itself.
This mage was level 13 and seemed to be about thirty years of age, clearly quite average. He wasn’t particularly handsome, but the beard he maintained meticulously gave him a sense of charm. He was known for his work ethic and earnestness, but was still approachable enough to share a few drinks with. This was the picture-perfect representative of a hardworking person who dreamt of becoming a grand mage before the end of his life.
Nobody noticed the man taking away a tiny, tattered blue fabric with a drop of dried blood on it that had fallen from Sharon’s robes. Pretending to tidy up his beard before continuing to work, he secretly swallowed the fabric whole.
As night fell, the mage returned to a single house residence near the base of the tower. The place only had a bedroom and a living room, the latter doubling as a laboratory for his purposes.
When night fell, the mage returned to his residence. With no windows to the outside, the place was illuminated entirely by magic light.
He closed the door and wrote down a large amount of information on a blank piece of paper, a detailed analysis of the fabric Sharon had dropped. His own body was actually capable of such a task. The numbers disappeared as he wrote them, and once he was done he opened up a little box and regurgitated the fabric into it before setting up an odd magic array. A soft light flashed to form a spatial crack just above the box, sucking in the fabric before vanishing.
In order to hide this all from the mana probes installed all around the Deepblue, this teleportation formation did not use regular magic crystals to work. Instead, it consumed the mage’s own life force; in only a moment, he seemed to have aged a decade.
As the spatial crack disappeared, the mage sighed and took out an intricate little box. Under the lid was a piece of paper with the portrait of a beautiful young woman and two lively children. His gaze was filled with reluctance, but he stood up as the clock rang and set up another formation on his workbench before standing in front of it.
Flames immediately engulfed the room.
An unfortunate lab accident in the lower-middle section of the Deepblue had taken the life of a high-levelled mage. Accidents like these were very common around the year, the study of magic always filled with danger especially in the lower sections where individual labs were rather crude. While some of the mage’s friends would mourn for a longer time, these sorts of mishaps occurred once or twice a week; most people would forget soon enough.
Late at night, the lights in the little town called Blue Icorn in the central regions of the Sacred Alliance went out. This was a small town that was named after a common magic ingredient found in the nearby hills, the major source of income for the locals.
Several kilometres from the town was a summer manor, large but not particularly luxurious. The few decorations it did have were elegant and intricate, matching the status and wealth of its owner. The light in the study was still on, with Baron Billius currently reading his favourite history book. The door to the study slowly opened, a maid placing black tea and biscuits on his table quietly before withdrawing. The Baron didn’t even seem to realise it, completely immersed in his study.
On an ancient tree a kilometre away, two graceful figures met up. Phaser took off her robes, “Is there an ambush?”
A red glow slowly faded from Senma’s left eye, “There aren’t any powerful traps, but there’s quite a few invisible warning systems. There might even be some things I haven’t noticed, looks like Sauron was right.”
By now, all of Phaser’s clothing was off, her scarlet tongue licking her lips, “Whatever, he’ll be dead tonight.”
“Getting close to him might be a little troublesome. Dealing with those warning systems won’t be easy.”
“We don’t need to. Let’s see how he escapes before we get to him.”
“Sigh, fine.” Senma retrieved three metal tubes from her back, linking them together to form her lance. In the next moment, the two disappeared.
Within the study, Baron Billius suddenly looked up with a sharp glint in his eyes. Hearing a few high-pitched squeaks, he stood up at the realisation that enemies had invaded the manor.
For some reason, he sat back down and continued reading his book as though nothing had happened. However, before he could even look down, the study window exploded into tiny fragments and a dull lance flew through the air, piercing through his chest and nailing him to the seat. He also felt someone appearing behind him, a blade being jammed into the back of his head.
The Baron’s eyes went wide open in disbelief as his skin turned red, his blood escaping his control and stopping his secret techniques. His eyes quickly glazed over as he gapes, saying with difficulty, “Ill...ogical…”
Phaser just smiled as she pulled her blade out, looking at the milky-white soul that it had just absorbed. Once Senma was done taking care of the body, they leapt back out through the window and disappeared into the vast night.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Ying
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA