Change of Rule
"Report!" a soldier yelled as he ran close from afar. He looked at an academy elder and waited until the female magus with the highest seniority come to him and whispered, "Elder Eiflo, His Highness Geoffrey has been assassinated in his office. His Highness… has stopped breathing."
"What?!" Eiflo started, before falling into deep thought. She was a rather sharp person and instantly made a conclusion.
Who else could the killer be? Stok was no more and the Tide of Death had calmed down. The Hockian army had given all they had to stop the corpses from going north, but the end result of it all was shocking. Not a single undead could be seen coming from the eastern plains. Instead, Fort Kesta in the west suffered a heavy attack. In the end, nobody apart from the field marshal, Alissanda, survived the fight. The troops in the east waited and suffered no casualties at all. It was only after sending their mounted scouts south that they found that most of the corpses stopped going north. The others had already been wiped out by Alissanda.
Effectively, Hocke was now the hegemon of the continent. If Larwin hadn't died, the empire would've been able to take control of the whole continent after recovering and clearing what undead remained in their cities. But now, Larwin was gone. The empty throne represented another conflict waiting to break out.
That was why it didn't take Eiflo long that the mysterious assassin had probably taken advantage of the chaos caused by the prison break to kill Geoffrey, and the only one who would order such a thing was Alissanda!
Who in the world are the people locked up in here? she wondered. Not long after, she understood everything when she saw the head of blue hair coming out of the underground prison. The operation was a joint effort between Alissanda and the bureau.
Annelotte was covered in shining barriers and snowflakes began to fall around her. Her expression was deadly serious and she seemed to be ready to retaliate. After recovering her powers, she was confident she could easily leave the academy. However, she had to make sure Eirinn, Innilis and the assassins would be able to leave with them.
"If you wish to get in my way, why don't you give it a try?" she said, glancing at the magi outside and making a magus's bow to request a duel.
The magi glanced at one another. They were just as shocked that the one who came out of the prison was Annelotte. The elders were completely unaware that Geoffrey had locked Annelotte up. All of a sudden, the principal of Second Magic Academy came out of the prison and challenged them to a fight. What in the world was going on? Was the principal of the rival academy intentionally there to cause trouble? Where was their own principal, Prince Geoffrey?
"While I don't know why the great glacial empress is here, I won't withdraw in cowardice as a magus, even against you." A handsome, grey-haired youth around the age of 28 stood out. He intentionally showed his mana rings to show that he was a high-order magus.
"Fool!" Eiflo rebuked. The young man was a new high-order magus who made the post of elder during the past half a year. As he looked rather good and was decently talented, he got quite arrogant after becoming a high-order magus. There were many times he mocked the other elders like Eiflo for being too conservative, and now, it seemed he was trying to cause even more trouble.
"Please hold back against me," he said with a gentlemanly bow. While he was proud, he understood that he was no match for Annelotte. The only reason he was doing this was to leave an impression with her. While he had heard she was quite close to the head of the bureau, Leguna, wooing someone else's partner wasn't something new to him. He simply couldn't help himself, especially when it came to someone like Annelotte.
"While I might not be your match, I, Eilos, will let you know that the pride of First Magic Academy isn't something to be trampled on! You're going too far!" he roared with an air of dignity.
"Don't waste words!" Annelotte said, her eyes narrowed. Like Leguna, she had found herself, Eirinn and the rest locked up in a cell the moment she awakened. All that anger pent up in her was begging to be let out. Seeing someone spout pointless nonsense only served to infuriate her even more. A cold glint flashed across her icy-blue irises. The next moment, she raised her hand and fired a glacial beam spell.
"Using a low-level spell to get the first hit in?" Eilos laughed and snapped his fingers, forming a frost-aspect barrier to materialize. "I didn't think the glacial empress would use petty tricks favored by apprentice magi. It does come as a tad disappointment--"
Before he could finish, the explosion that ensued drowned out his voice. While he was prattling on, Annelotte multicast one fireball alongside the beam. Eilos didn't see the obscured fireball at all and wasn't even able to activate his necklace, that contained lesser dispel, causing him to be blown away by the fireball. Fortunately, Annelotte hadn't been trying to go for the kill. She had intentionally weakened her fireball with the intent of giving Eilos a good roast.
"I knew it!" Eiflo was overjoyed to see Eilos roasted and charred. She gave it a little more thought and decided it was time for her to step out.
"Anyone else?" She looked around menacingly once more, causing the temperature around her to fall.
"Good evening, Lady Annelotte," Eiflo said with a bow.
"Let's begin." Annelotte raised her hand in preparation to dictate.
"Please wait, I'm not here to duel you," she said with a hurried wave of her hand. She crossed gazes with the other elders behind her, before saying, "Actually, we're quite confused about the situation too. We hope you understand that our principal definitely means no harm. So, there's no need for us to fight, is there?"
"So you'll let me go? Are you sanctioned to make this kind of decision?" she asked.
"Of course!" Eiflo graciously waved to show her way. "I believe this is merely a misunderstanding. I'm sure we can clear it up someday. But for now, I can promise you that nobody from First Magic Academy shall stop you from leaving. Otherwise, I, Eiflo, will take them on myself!"
"Very well. Thanks a lot." She merely nodded and left.
"It must be some kind of misunderstanding I hope you will give it some thought in consideration of mutual friendship between our academies!" she added.
"Maam, are we letting them go just like that? How are we going to explain this to the principal?" another elder asked.
"The principal is no more," she whispered, still looking at Annelotte's back.
"He was assassinated just now. Krontor, tell the other elders that if they don't want to die, they better keep a low profile and not offend anyone from the Second Magic Academy, the bureau, or the military. The storms plaguing the empire haven't yet subsided. In fact, even more will change today! We are magi. As long as we don't stand on the wrong side, we'll still have a decent standing after all this is over!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter