The border between Hocke and Stok, nay, Stok was no more. More accurately, the location was a small village in the eastern fringes of Hocke. Annelotte and the rest were resting in a small, renovated yard. Xeno wasn't lying. He had indeed handed Leguna a transport talisman with the coordinates to the hidden location that had sufficient food and water. The village was untouched by the Tide of Death and a few old folks who could barely walk were awaiting their final fate. But so far, not a single corpse had come for them.
"Alright, I believe there's nobody in this world that can locate the coordinates the both of us masked together," Angelista muttered as she stretched her elbows. While the transference spell was a form of spatial leap, that didn't mean it left no traces. There were many ways magi could use to mask their coordinates. That was the reason Angelista and Annelotte had to use more spells to mask where they were going.
Annelotte breathed a sigh of relief. She had been tense ever since she broke out of her cell and now, she could finally catch a breather.
"Aah! We didn't manage to rescue Leguna in the end," Angelista said as she continued to stretch lazily on the bed, showing her seductive and curvaceous figure. It was too bad everyone there were women.
"I will go back to save him." She rubbed her temples. Even though she wanted to get back to cracking the formation, her head hurt too much. She would take an even longer time if she didn't get some rest first. "Why did you show up at the city gates just now?"
"For my precious baby, of course!" Seeing Annelotte show interest, she sat up on the bed and waved her hands in the air, trying to depict something. "A few days ago, I got something amazing. Guess what it is."
"A bone dragon…" She immediately understood why Angelista had been outside the city. Since she got the remains of the bone dragon, she had spent a few days recovering the terrifying undead creature. Once she was done, the next logical step was to check out the fruits of her labor. As she couldn't summon the bone dragon inside the city, she went to the outskirts in the middle of the night to have as much fun with it as she could.
"How did you know? You ruined all the suspense!" She looked rather disappointed to be figured out.
Before we fought Nidhogg, he showed us the battle at Fort Kesta. You performed swimmingly then," Annelotte praised expressionlessly.
"I didn't think you of all people would shower me with praise. Should I be happy about it? Maybe not. After getting Icewing, you might no longer be my match," she proudly said.
"It's what I named my baby. Isn't it wonderful? Why don't we do a mock battle if you're into it?" Angelista asked eagerly. Traces of electricity could be seen between her fingers.
Annelotte ignored the suggestion and put up a screen of light in the air. "I'm not interested. I have something even more important to do now. Come help."
"Cracking the formation?" The glow on her face vanished. "I hate theoretical research like that."
"That's why you'll never beat me," she added, before starting work right away.
"How boring!" Seeing Annelotte intent on ignoring her, she slumped into her bed like she had lost all her bones.
When her boredom finally peaked, she said, "Hey! Seriously, let's go for a bout. I really think you can't beat me anymore."
Annelotte ignored her.
"What's with you and Leguna? Are you still going to save him? Forget it, you'll die!"
"Come on… Let us chat… I really don't know how you human women think. Why would you be able to endure letting a lowly man have many sacred women at once? His looks? Leguna looks rather average, though. Is it power? He definitely can't best you. Is there anything else?"
"Are you really not going to talk?"
"Alright, fine. I'll help with the calculations. Leave the work on formations 7 to 13 to me."
Just like that, the two magi focused on their work. The little house fell completely silent until Innilis suddenly cried out.
"Where are we? Where's Big Bro Leguna?"
"Innie, you're awake?" She put down her calculations and rushed to the bedroom.
"Sis Annie, where's Big Bro Leguna? We're safe now, so he should be here too, right?" She looked around frantically. Her loud voice woke Eirinn up too.
Seeing the two's hopeful gazes, Annelotte remained silent.
Innilis's face sank. She looked at her in disbelief and cried, "You… you abandoned Big Bro! How could you do that?!"
"Innie, calm down," Eirinn said, trying to stop her tantrum, despite being just as sad after finding out about what happened to Leguna.
"How can I stay calm?! He saved us, but we abandoned him!"
"You must, Innie," Annelotte said as she used a soothing spell. "You must understand what was going on just now. We couldn't leave with him."
"So? You chose to abandon him?!"
"I won't, trust me. The thing that bound him is really odd. If we don't crack the formation, we won't ever be able to save him."
"Then… what do we do?" She asked, finally simmering down.
"I, you and Angelista will work on cracking the formation. As long as we find a way to free him, it shouldn't be hard for Leguna and me to escape Melindor. But before any of that can happen, we must crack the formation. So, don't make any undue fuss. Once you're rested, come help with the calculations."
"Okay…" she muttered, "But you must promise me we'll go save him."
"I promise." She made a swearing hand gesture and turned to Eirinn. "Eirinn, I'll have to trouble you for taking care of us here."
"Alright." She nodded obediently.
"As for Melindor…" Annelotte turned to Angelista. "I heard soulgraspers have…"
"Aaah, that's right, I did leave a soul imprint in Melindor. I'll know anything that happens there. Don't worry." She waved Annelotte away in frustration.
"Then, I'll be troubling you for that."
"But there's something I'd like you to take note of." She looked everyone in the room in the eye. "What if the empire decides to secretly get rid of Leguna?"
"It's impossible," Annelotte denied vehemently, "Alissanda wants to use him as a scapegoat. So, he'll definitely announce a public execution a few days later. Otherwise, he wouldn't be able to explain away Geoffrey and Larwin's deaths. Don't worry. Just notify us about the goings-on in Melindor with your soul imprint."
"Fine." Angelista shrugged.Previous Chapter Next Chapter