"I'll come with you," Innilis seemed a little anxious to hear something happened to Eirinn.
"It might be dangerous…" Leguna didn't stop her outright. After all, she was a mid-order magus already. She'd be hurt if she was still left out of things, given how hard she had been trying to be someone useful.
"I'm not afraid. And with you there, I doubt I'd come to any danger, right?" she said with a smile.
He gave her a look and nodded in the end. "Alright, let's go there together!"
Leguna would never think Harrison would there go so far and act so fast.
It was the yearly celebration for both the magic academies. The staff and venue were all arranged by the academies. However, they weren't in charge of security. Instead, the bureau and the city guard were. In other words, the city guard had their men on patrol to maintain safety whereas the agents of the bureau were in the shadows, taking care of the VIPs of the empire.
The reason they were doing so was simple. While the academies were training the elite magi, they were still students in their teens. Even the academies themselves wouldn't be assured leaving security in their hands to say no less of the emperor.
That was the problem with Eirinn. She couldn't look for Annelotte and Leguna had something to discuss with Alissanda, so she began taking a walk with nothing better to do. Fortunately, the ceremony was hosted by the academies and Eirinn was quite famous in either one of them.
So, she managed to get a tour by some students and eventually stumbled into a forbidden area. That was the resting place for Larwin and a few other important ministers. It was an open-air building some hundreds of meters away from the main venue.
Somehow, the guards didn't stop her when she went to the second floor. Just as she was glad to find an empty space from which to watch the performances, a fully armed unit rushed over and arrested her for possibly being a Stokian spy.
According to Hockian laws, a commoner like that could be beheaded by the city guard for trespassing into forbidden areas.
The reason she wasn't was because of an eye Leguna kept on her at all times. While others might see Eirinn as a small figure, he didn't relax his guard on her. Even if Stokians might not necessarily target her, he wouldn't take that risk.
So, he sent a female agent to tail her and report to him if anything happened to her. It was only a precautionary measure and he didn't think it'd save Eirinn's life this time around.
"Miss Eirinn, please hold on a little longer. I've sent our brothers of the bureau to notify Sir Leguna. He will be here immediately," the female agent gently said as she shielded her with her dagger in hand from the fully armed soldiers.
Eirinn blinked and looked at the woman, no, she looked more like a girl in her teens. She seemed really slender and not much stronger than Innilis. The rather large dagger contrasted against the small arm that held it. Eirinn seemed a little bigger compared to her.
However, she had calmly stood in front of the fully armed guards, calm as cold ice.
"Let me emphasise once more. Put down your weapon and stop resisting. The woman behind you has breached our empire's security protocols. We have to take her back for questioning." the guard captain mechanically said as he gripped his sword hilt tighter.
It was something he had to say to stubborn enemies. He had to repeat it thrice, and if the person didn't change their attitude, they would be authorized to use force. If anyone dared to attack the guards, they would have the right to kill that person.
That was the captain's third repetition. However, the agent didn't respond and got into a threatening fighting stance without loosening her grip around her dagger at all.
The cold sound of the sword being drawn sent chills down Eirinn's spine. She knew that lives might be lost from this incident, so she hurriedly pushed the girl away and told the guards, "Please don't fight! I'll follow along!"
"Miss Eirinn, you can't!" The girl was a 10th-stratum assassin, so her physical capabilities was far better than a priestess like Eirinn. She decided to forcefully block Eirinn behind her. "The bureau head's mission for me is to keep you from harm! No matter what, I can't let you be taken away! Just wait! He will be here soon!"
"Since you're stubbornly resisting, there is only one thing we can do." The captain waved for his warriors to charge.
Darn! the agent thought.
She thought bringing up Leguna would cause the guards to falter, but it seemed they were set on capturing Eirinn. What she said only caused them to act faster.
The girl was already absurdly talented to be at the 10th stratum before her twenties. However, she was far from a match from the guards tasked to keep order during the celebration. Each of those guards could be as strong as a member of Goldeagle. That meant that they were all mid-order and at least of the 8th stratum. While the girl could hold back a few minutes if there were only one or two of them, taking on all eight was hopeless.
However, she had been given a mission by the head himself! She would carry it out even if it meant her death! That was the notion deeply drilled into each agent's head. However, she was even more resolute than the normal agent. In terms of the time, even if the guards got their hands on Eirinn, they would still be stopped by Leguna halfway.
However, that wasn't the mission Leguna had given her. She was told to keep Eirinn away from harm at any moment. As long as she still took breath, Eirinn was forbidden to come to harm.
That was her mission, and now, she was going to fulfill it.
"Miss Eirinn, run! Just hold on a little longer! He will be here soon!" She pushed her away and charged at the guards.
Eirinn felt lost at the chaos that erupted. Given her personality, she wouldn't leave someone and make a run for it. So, she chose to take a few steps back and watch as the younger girl charge desperately into the fray to protect her.
The girl evaded a horizontal slash and her gaze grew cold. She had thought the guards would hold back against her since she was from the bureau, but it appeared she had underestimated the intensity of conflict between the empire's institutions. Had she been half a second too late to react, her head would definitely have parted from her body. The guards were definitely attacking her with the intent to kill.
Since that was the case, there was no point for her to hold back!
She relied on her petite body to worm between the guards' slashes and went to the back of one. She swung her dagger and pierced it through the gap in the armor. The sound of blade against bone was chilling. She knew that this strike had rendered the guard unable to swing his sword, so she was prepared to pull the dagger back out to deal with the other enemies.
Little did she know she had underestimated the constitution of the empire's guards. The pain in the shoulders wasn't enough to stop him from fighting. He made a low growl and let out a wave of impetus comparable to the girl's own.
It was at that time when Eirinn let out a shriek. She watched as a soldier behind the girl charged and thrust his sword towards the girl's waist.
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