Orpé observed Kalion’s expression, waiting for his reaction, as the tension in her body increased by the minute. It didn’t seem like he despised wizards, but as Cedric had said, it would be a shame for knights to have to step back, and it was clear that he wouldn’t back down easily.
I am the only one suffering because of all of this! Orpé wanted to cry as she was well aware of Erna’s stubbornness and couldn’t help but wonder what crime she’d committed for her to be caught between Erna and Kalion like this.
Finally, Kalion opened his mouth, “Okay. The knights will withdraw to the rear.”
“I beg your pardon?” Orpé asked, unsure if she’d heard correctly.
Cedric and Orpé, who were expecting rejection, looked at Kalion in bewilderment as he gave an unexpected answer. They turned their heads towards each other and seeing that they were both surprised, it was clear that they didn’t mishear.
“Did you say that the spell will start around noon tomorrow?”
“What? Yes! That’s right!” Orpé said, sounding astonished.
“Then the knights will begin their withdrawal in the morning. Deliver the message.”
“Yes sir!” Cedric replied obediently.
Fearing that Kalion may change his mind at any moment, Orpé hurriedly said goodbye and left the room, and Cedric, who was staring blankly at Orpé’s exit, said in a loud voice, “Sir!”
“Quiet. As I said just now, all the knights are to withdraw to the rear in the morning and prepare to look after the villagers of Haldis after the spell has been cast.”
“Are you saying that we brought three units of knights, but will be returning without even pulling out a sword?”
“Think of it as going out for a walk.”
Cedric held his head with both hands and moaned in response to Kalion’s reply. He knew how much the knights would complain to him when he delivered this command, and he slowly turned his head and looked at Kalion with resentment. I’m certain that he’s losing to Miss Erna on purpose!
A normal Kalion would never back down in such a situation. For him, the Hessenguard knights were his pride and joy, but now, he was acting completely out of character by withdrawing them from the battle that lay ahead. Cedric shuddered when he thought about how things were changing since Kalion and Erna started sharing a bedroom. If it was like this now already, what would it be like further down the line?
The next day, Erna stood on a grassy hill overlooking the magnificent lake, rubbing her stiff neck, “Ouch.”
Unlike the day before, she was in a bit of a mess. When Orpé had woken her up in the morning, the white bed sheets were soaked with cold sweat. Her neck and shoulders were tightly cramped as she’d slept curled up tightly in an odd position, like an animal trying to escape the cold, and now she felt stiff and sore whenever she moved her neck.
It was strange that she felt like this today since she’d slept in the same bed the previous night and had woken up feeling fine. Nothing, in particular, has changed, I don’t understand this.
Kalion, whom she’d thought would go to another room if he had any tact, had entered the couple’s bedroom and laid down on the sofa with his eyes closed, despite her glare. Instead of asking the question about whether he’d sat on the bed the day before, Erna had promptly cast a spell. A few of the letters had moved swiftly over her hand, glowing red, and soon a curtain of transparent red light had appeared around the bed on which she was lying.
“What is that?” He’d asked. Kalion had alertly stared at the spell Erna had cast as he’d raised his body.
“A spell that burns when touched, burning until there is no blood left to burn and bones turn to powder,” she’d replied.
“Oh, okay then.”
“Don’t worry, it’s a spell cast just in case a certain someone forgets about my warning of me having to kill if he comes over the carpet. It has nothing to do with you, right?” She’d explained sarcastically.
“Message received loud and clear. ” Kalion had averted his gaze and had soon laid back on the comfortable couch, ignoring Erna’s scornful grin as she’d confirmed that her spell had been cast safely.
Closing her eyes, she’d smirked about what she’d said about the spell burning someone to death; it was a lie, and she recalled thinking that only a crazy person would go to sleep with such a spell cast. A spell cast with such power required quite a bit of mana, and she couldn’t waste mana on such nonsense, especially with such an important task ahead of her. Besides, this wasn’t the Archduke’s castle, it was someone else’s mansion. She couldn’t do an irresponsible thing such as hanging a dangerous spell in someone else’s house. So the spell she’d cast wasn’t that potent, a person would only be stung if they touched the area in which it was.
She also recalled, that when she was drifting off to sleep, she’d thought that it would be a sight if he accidentally bumped into it.
In the morning, Orpé had woken her up after removing the spell, lecturing her about why she shouldn’t have cast it. Erna had looked around her as soon as she’d regained her senses and saw that there were only traces of it as she’d moved out of the awkward position she’d slept in.
Orpé informed her that Kalion hadn’t been in the bedroom when she’d come in to open the curtains and Erna thought it must’ve been because he was afraid that he might touch the spell and burn alive! Erna had spun her shoulders widely, immediately feeling a sharp pain in her neck and shoulder.
“Why does it hurt so much?” Erna had moaned in pain. The building was full of knights so she hadn’t understood why she’d felt like that.
In all honesty, she must’ve passed out from sheer exhaustion the day before and then mistakenly thought that it was thanks to the knights that she’d slept well. Orpé had approached her as she’d cracked her neck.
“Ma’am! All the knights have withdrawn from the planned area of
“And the placement of wizards?”
“All placements have been completed in the designated positions.”
“Good. Then send a signal to start.”
At Erna’s words, Orpé had begun to draw magic letters made of light in the air. It was a very simple spell requiring only two letters, and when the mana was added to the letters, a huge mass of blue light had appeared in front of her and quickly soared into the sky.
The beam of light had shot up to the sky, making a sharp sound, like the screeching of a hawk, and exploded beautifully in the sky above Haldis. Despite the broad daylight, people had gazed at the blue flames that had looked as bright as midnight fireworks.
The blue light bursting in the air was the signal for the wizards to prepare. The atmosphere in the forest changed as everyone seemed nervous, perhaps because of the light, or the fact that the demons must know that the wizards were nearby. Suddenly, the demons that had been holding their breath in the lake, due to the increased number of people in the area, came up to the surface one by one.
“What a crowd,” Erna said as she rubbed her arm while looking at the demons that floated on the surface, who resembled turtles out for a sunbathe.
“It’s disgusting,” Orpé said, feeling repulsed.
She said she would take care of it herself, but seeing how many there were now, she regretfully thought that it might have been better to just leave it to the order. But, Erna immediately shook her head, It’s also a good thing that the order doesn’t cause unnecessary damage.
They were not only Kalion’s henchmen but also citizens of Hessenguard and they were currently the greatest force that maintained order and security in Hessenguard. So even though they were Kalion’s people, it was right to treat them with respect; their strength was the strength of the Hessenguard.
Erna lifted the magic formula she’d shown Orpé yesterday, into the air again, and as she waved her hand toward the sky, the magic formula grew exponentially and ascended, filling the void.
However, no matter how strong Erna was, it wasn’t easy for her to maintain a huge spell on her own. Besides that, the wizards still needed her command, so she couldn’t drain all her mana and collapse. Therefore, Erna made it possible for her and the wizards to split it up into segments, and then infuse it with mana. I’m in the middle, and the other wizards on either side of it will fill it with mana too.
No special action was required to infuse mana. One just needed to understand and focus on the meaning of the letter itself. Slowly the magic formula was filled with mana, and the letters began to shine brilliantly from below.
Erna tapped her stiff neck and looked up at the sky, “It will take some time.”
* * *
Cedric looked up at the brightly lit sky and said, still grumbling, “It seems like it’s close to completion.” As lunchtime approached, the magic floating in the sky of Haldis gradually began to emanate a stronger light. The letters, which had been motionless when they’d first floated, were now shining brightly and spinning at a ferocious speed. When Kalion turned around, the knights were also admiring the sky with a curious face; Cedric was not pleased with the look.
“Foolish bastards. If the wizards do all the work, you will become jobless. You have to be able to feel a sense of crisis.” The knights who were nearby heard Cedric’s nag and smiled bitterly.
“Still, isn’t it a good thing to be able to deal with demons without coming into direct contact with them? It’s the wizard’s duty to eradicate demons, and the knight’s duty is to war with humans mostly,” one of the nights commented.
“It is, but still, I feel like our duty is taken from us.” Cedric glanced at Kalion briefly as he complained, hoping for some kind of validation about how he was feeling and he wanted to shout out, ‘Can’t you see? I’m hurt because my duty is taken from me!’, but he knew that Kalion would just click his tongue at such a complaint.
“Enough with your useless chatter. It seems to be almost completed, so let’s get ready to start taking care of the citizens of Haldis,” Kalion said firmly.
Cedric grunted, but faithfully carried out Kalion’s order, ensuring that the knights were ready to run towards Haldis as soon as the spell was activated.
While they were waiting for the spell to be completed, someone yelled frantically, “Look there! Demons are coming up!”
“What?” Kalion hurriedly looked to where the knight was pointing. He could see the demons that had been in the lake up until now, crawling onto the land, side by side. They seemed to have trouble breathing as they were not used to the land, but they began to advance steadily regardless. Kalion was able to immediately sense what their aim was. The wizards!
It was clear that they were somehow aware, that the spell that was being prepared by the wizards, would kill them, and that’s why they were risking their lives on land, ignoring their suffering.
Kalion sprung into action and shouted to the knights standing behind him, “I order you to protect the wizards from the demons!”