Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Rogue Journey – Beast, respond to my call – Chapter 5 – Night of Hunting

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen
Beast, respond to my call
Chapter 5 – Night of “Hunting”

“Damn it, we’ve searched the entire warehouse and can’t find it. That monster must have taken it.”

Childman was as cold as ever.

“For five years, me and my men have been after that monster. You can understand why we must kill it.”

“So you intend to erase her from existence?”

Orphen mumbled, but Childman’s expression never changed —— his cheek didn’t even twitch. He just coldly replied.

“She died five years ago. We are only hunting a flying monster.”

“Azalie is that flying monster!”


Orphen sat stiff in a leather chair, and cursed Childman’s name inside himself. He was sitting in a dim lit room, a room within the Alliance of Sorcerer’s Totokanta branch. Apart from the chair Orphen was sitting in, there was a small table with a kettle and glasses. It was a very small room, you couldn’t even call it a room, it was more like a prison cell. Orphen then stood up and looked directly at Childman and Hartia.

“Do you really think that, Krylancelo?”

Hartia asked, as his face was filled with worry. He then unfolded his arms and continued to talk.

“Can’t you see that it’s not her anymore? That monster has no memory of us, only the beasts natural instincts remain.”

“Is this true?”

Orphen asked, though his question was directed at Childman.

“Yes. But the Sword of Baltanders could return the monster to her former self, that’s why it came to the Everlasting residence.”

“But how you know it was there?”

“Because I hid it there.”

Orphen was surprised, he never expected this. Childman continued, as he opened his dry lips.

“If you must know, the previous master of the Everlasting household hired me as a personal assassin.”

Childman’s expression didn’t change in the slightest, he continued softly.

“It was too dangerous to keep the sword in the Tower of Fang, so it was agreed that it would be stored in the underground warehouse.”

Orphen peered back at Childman from across the room, his face was still motionless.

“She pledged allegiance to our organisation and tried to use ancient magic. Curiosity simply killed the cat.”

“She is not dead!”

“You’re delusional.”

Childman’s amber eyes glowed up in the darkness, like a lizard watching it’s prey. Orphen wanted to turn away, but he couldn’t. It was like he was frozen in place, as if he was suffering from some strange kind of illness. But it was no illness, it was Childman.

(Is there a secret to his strength?”

Orphen asked himself.

(He is always he so calm, as if he gleans power from his own sheer devotion. In any case, I can’t match is strength.

Even when Orphen was in the Tower of Fang, he couldn’t beat Childman. Suffice to say, he was inferior, even now. If Azalie was considered the first genius since the Tower was established, then Childman will be the last genius. Though, he was still considered the strongest black sorcerer in the Tower of Fang and across the land. Taking that into consideration, it’s easy to see why people are afraid of him.

Childman suddenly moved, and started walking towards Orphen.

“I’ve been hunting that monster for a very long time……however, our opponent has the ability to use powerful magic. It has also proved to be very resilient, before there were more of us, now the party is down to me. She killed everyone else.”
“As long as her sanity remains, I know she won’t kill me.”

Hartia then spoke next. However, Orphen didn’t pay attention to him.

“But Childman, even with your magic skills can you beat her?”

Childman’s footsteps came to a sudden halt.

“Maybe, but she has a hidden trump card.”

“……White magic.”

Orphen said flatly. Hartia’s face had lost some of it’s color.

Childman continued, as if he was giving a lecture.

“White magic has the power to manipulate time and energy. Although it sounds rather simple, it’s actually a very powerful form of magic, when used right.”

He gently waved his hand.

“Even the usage of white magic in wartime has been known to turn to tide of the war.”

Childman put his hand to his head, and started stroking his hair.

“What’s wrong Childman, talking isn’t usually your style.”

“If you would have let me finish, I was going to say that white magic isn’t everything. That’s because, the most powerful fighting force is a well disciplined black sorcerer.”

“……Are you still planning on killing her?”

Orphen said with clenched teeth. However, the teacher was as cold as ever.

“Of course. However, I could do with your assistance.”

“Screw you!”

“Krylancelo, this is ——”

Hartia made every effort to get Orphen’s attention. However, the red headed man bit his lip.

“This is your atonement for leaving the Tower of Fang. Besides, if we work together we can find her faster.”

“I want to find her alive, I don’t want to kill her.”

“Krylancelo, I want you to participate in our plan. We’ll find her—— no, the monster and get back the sword. If you do, you could rise to a high position within the tower. You could perhaps become an assistant to one of the teachers.”

Orphen was filled with a sense of disgust, so much that he almost vomited.

“I’ve had enough of you and that place. You’ll have to rely on your own means to succeed, I’ll have nothing to do with you.”

“Can’t you see that this is only causing harm to the Tower of Fang and it’s reputation? If we fail in our quest, the authority of the Tower will plummet! Please come back, you can gain what you have lost. You can still become one of the candidate’s again, don’t throw your past away.”

Hartia swallowed and took a deep breath.

“Do you want to do odd jobs for the rest of your life?”

“My hope is that ——”

Orphen was cut mid sentence by Childman, whose cough stopped the two men bickering. Hartia turned to look at him, but he said nothing. He just watched them for a moment, then he began to talk.

“You two are arguing over pointless things. Krylancelo, listen to me. Tonight, we are organising our forces on a crusade against the monster. Several black sorcerers from the Tower of Fang will also be participating.   

“……Do you know her location?”

“When you were in this branch the other day, I snuck into the Everlasting residence. I found the sword in the warehouse, and I put a tracking spell on it. That way, I can track where it goes.”

“……You always were one step ahead of me.”

“Tonight we will kill that flying monster. You can come with us, but if you do you will follow my orders. So, are you coming or not?”

“…………”
Orphen wanted to say something, but Childman’s eyes were glaring at him ever so strongly. His face, as always, was like a mask with cold expressions. No, this was not a mask, but his true face. Orphen thought this was kinda ironic.

“……When do we leave?”

Orphen asked. Childman didn’t smile or nod, but his eyes did show some interest. He answered quietly.

“The troops will be assembled in the evening. We will provide you with weapons and food, if need be. Make sure you are prepared before we leave.”

***

“Tonight? Then I’ve got to get ready!”

Then she started to nag him.

“It’ll take at least an hour for me to do my hair. And not sleeping for days hasn’t done my skin any favours. ”

Orphen couldn’t stand it. He just sighed.

“You’ll stay in the house.”

Cleo was taken aback.

“Oh, come on.”

Vulcan was speechless, he just started shaking his finger at the girl.

“Haven’t you realized, he’s the lone wolf type of guy.”

“Am I? I’ll need you to do something while I’m on the hunt.”

“What?!”

Vulcan was motionless, with his finger still in the air.

“B-But, it’ll be dangerous.”

Cleo ran over, and hit Orphen in the head with a broom.

“Last time I check weren’t those guys who came to the mansion you’re enemies? This so-called hunt could be a ruse to attack you when you’re not looking.”

“They would never do something like that, besides they want my help. The least I could do is indulge them, and maybe disrupt their plans.”

Orphen muttered to himself.

“All’s well that ends’ well.”

He then spread out his hands.

“I will join the troops under the command of Childman. Frankly, Azalie has no chance of winning this fight. Tonight she will be killed by them, but ——”

“I will go ahead and protect Azalie from Childman and his men. Whether I’m successful or not, I probably won’t be coming back here. I’m sorry, I want to help repair your estate. But I don’t have anytime to spare.”

Later that day, Orphen and Childman’s men walked through a valley in darkness. The sun went down a while ago, and it’s now night time.

“Isn’t it dangerous to be out here at night?”

Orphen asked. But Childman replied coldly.

“Is there something wrong?”

“No, it’s just that, shouldn’t we attack during the day? She obviously has the advantage in the night.”

Orphen said sarcastically, but Childman wasn’t having any of his antics.

“We press onward.”

Orphen had nothing else to had, he just stared at the troops advancing through the valley. They were a few kilometres away from Totokanta, in the foothills to the west. From looking at the map, he could see that there were a couple of villages in the vicinity. However, they weren’t going near them because they had to keep the operation a secret. Childman ensured all the troops followed this order.

At the head of the unit was Childman, and behind him was Orphen. Simply because he wanted to keep a close eye on him, and observe his talents. Behind Orphen was six black sorcerers who all wore similar clothing, the black cloaks made them look like some sort of religious followers. Orphen carried a sword around his waist. Among them men he could see Hartia, who was clearly avoiding eye contact with him. He was carrying an infantry rifle.

And in addition to these men, there was a lonesome old man around sixty years old. He looked to be in rather good shape, though he was much slower than the rest of the men, who were much younger. The old man had grey hair and no beard, even at his age there weren’t much wrinkles. He didn’t even carry any weapons, he only had the symbol of the Tower of Fang. Though he did have a dice necklace, which was proof of his ability to use white magic.

There was so much powerful sorcerers in this operation that they even had to get approval from the King. Otherwise they’re activity would be illegal, especially since they have a white sorcerer.
Taking everyone is consideration, they’re power could rival that of even the Thirteen Apostles.

Orphen quietly asked Childman a question.

“……Do you really think you can stop Azalie with white magic?”

“Possibly.”

Childman answered, as cruel as ever.

“That isn’t a definite answer, what’s the real plan?”

“Why do you think I brought so many people. It’s like chess, the pawns sacrifice themselves for the King. It doesn’t matter how many people die in the initial attack, what matters is that someone can get close enough to kill the monster.”

“I think that’s fairly obvious.”

Orphen said while thinking to himself.

(Who knows)

He then asked another question.

“So, who’s leading the charge against Azalie?”

“You are. The young are the most tenacious, and you have great combat skills. Though your character could do with some improvement——”


It was rare for Childman to make a joke.
“Besides, if you die. That means less paperwork for me.”

***

“Oh, poor me. Why do I have to suffer like this? That bastard should get his own hands dirty for once!”

Vulcan said as he was walking through tall grass and weeds. Meanwhile, his brother Dortin was cutting the tall grass and weeds in front of him.

“What right do you have to complain?”

Behind Dortin was Vulcan, who was holding a lamp to light the way, and cutting the occasional weed with his own machete.

“I have every right!

Behind Vulcan was Cleo, she was wearing lightweight riding clothes and holding a sword.

“I heard that you got some information so you could help Orphen. Will those sorcerers really go there?”

“Don’t question my intelligence gathering skills.”

Vulcan didn’t look back.

“As a matter of fact, a friend of mine told me where those Alliance of Sorcerer’s fellows were going.”

“Can you actually trust those so-called friends of yours?”

Cleo asked. However, a look of impotence went over Vulcan’s face. He didn’t have the heart to face the girl with her sword out.

“Watch where you’re pointing that sword.”

“How dare you, a knight’s sword is held with justice.”

Cleo majestically held up her sword into the air. Seeing this, Vulcan started to move faster. But there was no escape, so Vulcan raised his own weapon.

“You say knight? Since when did the Everlasting family become nobles? If you don’t stop this nonsense, I’ll kill you with a pencil!”
“Do you seek death?”

Cleo roared.

Dortin notice that both of them had stopped, he knew that he had to pick a side. But he didn’t know who to side with, he didn’t want to see them fight but he also didn’t want to upset anyone. If he choose Cleo, he would have to endure weeks of torment from his brother. If he choose his brother, he really didn’t know what would happen. Chopped into pieces, maybe? He didn’t want to think about it, so he made a decision.

“You guys!”

Dortin ran in between both of them.

“Cam down! Put your weapons away! This is insane!”

He really didn’t want to play peacemaker, but he really didn’t expect Vulcan and Cleo to still be at each other’s throats.

“Brother, come to your senses!”

However, he couldn’t stop them. Both of them raised each other’s swords and mercilessly hit each other in the forehead. So much, that blood ran down their faces.

“You actually hit me!”

“How dare you!”

Vulcan roared, but he then turned back around and started hacking at the tall grass. Shortly after, Cleo followed behind him, as did Dortin.

The three continued onward for a while, until Cleo started to complain.

“When will it end? My feet are starting to hurt.”

“Well, according to the map it shouldn’t be much longer.”

“How much longer?”

“About two hours.”

“You’ve got to be joking.”

“Don’t complain, you were the one who insisted on tagging along.”

An obvious smirk erupted on Vulcan’s face.

“Well, it is only two hours.”

Cleo muttered wearily. Though something else was on her mind, she was hearing something rustling in the bushes.

“…………”

She began to wipe the sweat from her forehead.

“Vulcan, just where did you get your intelligence from?”

“Well, I…”

Vulcan wore a pale face.

“I got it from the Bagup Hotel, I meet some interesting people there.”

“So you trust some random people?”

Cleo could see Vulcan getting riled up.

“Listen……why the hell are you bringing that up now of all times?”

Just as he finished his sentence, a loud roar resounded throughout the sky.

Five meters away from them rose the giant monster, it roared again. The gaslamp was dropped, leaving them in darkness. They could only hope that it didn’t notice them.

***

Two hours later, the troops took a rest, where they left Orphen alone.

This was his golden opportunity, he could easily sneak away and get ahead of Childman and the troops. Though something was bugging him, they have been moving in a straight line ever since they moved into the valley. That and they’ve been moving at a faster pace, signaling that he’s planning on starting the operation soon than planned.

Orphen needed to get to the forest as quick as possible, then he also thought about how long it would take him to find Azalie. He advanced deeper into the forest, but found it difficult to find her. That’s because she choose to hide deep inside the forest.

(Can I do this? Am I one step ahead of him?)

Orphen asked himself, as he trotted around in the forest.

(Have I ever won against him?)

Orphen was worried that he might mess things up, that he might fail. A surging tide of depression went over him, but he quickly shook his head to rid himself of such thoughts.

(If I don’t get my head in the game, then Azalie will die)

Orphen thought to himself as he trampled over cut weed, that he cut to clear him a path. For the next hour he advanced, but then he suddenly stopped. His whole body was covered in sweat, the coolness of the night wind gave him a refreshing feeling. He needed it since his clothes were practically stuck to him, he then put the sword back into his sheath. Ever since last night, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad would happen.

Suddenly, he saw something in the distance. Orphen closed his eyes, as sweat oozed out of every pore. He wiped his forehead with the palm of his head, to rid himself of the sweat. Just as heavy rain started to rain from the sky, his ears twitched in reaction.

Orphen sighed, perhaps it was an illusion. He opened his eyes and looked up, it was just a regular forest. But there was something wrong with this forest, there was no sound. He looked around the place into the darkness of the forest, and started grinning.

He told himself that yelling in a place like this was simply foolish. Not to mention, Childman will eventually catch up to him. However, he knew this was the right course of action.

(I always trusted your instincts)

“Azalie!”

Her name slowly resounded throughout the forest, where it eventually dissipated. It was as if peace was finally restored to the forest. Then a breeze then blew over the forest, rustling the leaves and branches of the forest.

Orphen shouted again!

“Azal——”
A loud roar resounded through the forest. It was deafening, so much that gusts of air blew through the forest. Sending branches and leaves alike flying, Orphen even had to use his arm to protect himself.

Then, the roar happened again.

(That’s Azalie’s roar!)

Instantly, Orphen happily rushed out ahead —— he thought Azalie’s roar was a reaction to his yelling. If that was the case, then she still retained some of her sanity.

(No —— wait)

Orphen ran many ideas through his head, as to why Azalie was roaring.

(Could she have known that human’s were approaching, is that why she roared? If the beast continues to do this, she could escape.)

If that’s the case, then there was no chance for him to catch up to her. That goes for Childman too.

“I won’t give up!”

Adrenaline pumped through Orphen’s system, as he started to run through the forest at a miraculous speed. He could hear Azalie roaring as he neared her position, leaping from place to place he heard——

Azalie roar again, but this one was different, it shook the forest to it’s very core. As compressed air was sent flying in all directions, causing multiple explosions. This made Orphen consider moving more slowly, however the earth itself began to shake. And all the trees and weeds within a ten metre radius of Azalie began to sink beneath the earth, as Orphen looked in dismay. But it wasn’t the now desolated area he should be concerned about, but the huge shadow in the center.

(Azalie……)

Orphen gazed at the huge beast as he sat a mere ten metres away, staying as quiet as possible. Although large, the beast may be low of energy after the battle last night. He could tell this as Azalie was now three metres in length. He could see something shining —— it was the sword of baltanders.

Orphen stared at the beast, while it laid there motionless.

(Why did it create an open space in the forest?)

Orphen carefully questioned himself.

(Naturally, she probably knew people were hunting her. But it didn’t make any sense for her to destroy part of the forest. Unless ——)

Orphen started thinking, then Azalie roared, as to signal her movement.

(Unless she made this open area to fight!)

Azalie started purring, just as Orphen tried to retreat.

But at that very moment, numerous balls of light were sent flying right at Orphen. Catapulting him into the air momentarily, until he regained his footing. He then shouted at Azalie.

“Azalie! Don’t you recognize me?”

She answered his call with another attack. But luckily he was able to roll out of the way, he then shouted again.

“Have you really lost your memory of me, Azalie?”

The beast didn’t seem to care, it just roared again.

Numerous blades of light and compressed air were sent flying over the deafening roar.

Orphen put out his arms, and shouted.

“Amber shield from my fingertips!”

The shield made from compressed air protected him. However, parts of Azalie’s attack made it through, leaving some scratches on Orphen’s face.

(She’s going to kill me.)

Orphen was stunned at the immense power that the beast had, he knew that he couldn’t escape. He will probably be her first kill of the night.

(Factoring in our difference in power, I’d say I have no chance in winning.)

In the middle of the battle, Orphen hesitated. Azalie put her head into the air and started summoning a giant ball of light, which expanded rapidly. Orphen’s body was suddenly wrought with pain, as a strong electrostatic discharge made his hairs stand up. Azalie must be summoning a massive attack, no matter what kind of defense Orphen has, it will hit him directly.

(I’m gonna be killed——)

Orphen closed his eyes in despair——

Though even with his eyelids closed, he could still see a some of the light.

Orphen opened his eyes, and Azalie’s attack wasn’t released.

Bam!

From behind of him a wave of light and heat struck Azalie in the face, then the ball of light exploded. A blast of wind was sent in every direction, and even grazed Orphen’s skin. In the center there were only flames, he couldn’t even see her shadow.

(Is Azalie dead?)

Not knowing what had just happened, Orphen turned around to the forest behind him. He saw Hartia standing with the group of black sorcerers and the old man.

“Childman? He’s here?!”

Orphen shouted. Childman could still hear his cries over the explosion, as he calmly walked towards him with no expression. Hartia and the other’s followed after him, the could all see the fear on Orphen’s face. All the other sorcerers had a wide variety of expressions, but none of them were moved by what they had done. The old man who used white magic came towards Orphen, and passed him by. Behind him, there was only a pillar of fire surrounding the monster. Orphen then looked over at Childman.  

“I wanted to surprise you.”

Orphen mumbled, while Childman replied coldly.

“Oh, really? I thought I made myself clear.”

He shrugged.

“I said you were leading the charge.”

“You bastard!”

Orphen shouted at Childman. Darkness suddenly fell all around them, then the pillar of fire dissipated.

Azalie roared again. At the same time, Childman moved behind the white sorcerer, who was now surrounded by blue and white flames.

“…………!”

He didn’t even have time to scream, the flames were so hot that it killed him instantly. He was incinerated.

“Spread out!”

Childman quickly gave orders to his subordinates, the black sorcerers rushed in all directions like  a pack of dogs. Only Childman remained in the center, meanwhile Orphen watched him.

“She’s so stubborn.”

Childman and the other’s began to talk softly, then the black sorcerers went on the attack.

“Fire!”

They all shouted their own spells, Fire, Wind, Light and so on. A total of six attacks came from all directions. However, Azalie roared resounded throughout the night sky, and all the attacks stop half way.

Then Azalie roared again, and a bolt of lightning hit one of the black sorcerers, blowing up his body. It seemed he didn’t have enough time to release his defensive magic. Staring at what was left of the young man’s body, Orphen wondered what he should do. He knew that even though Azalie was fighting, she couldn’t hold it up for long. So, Orphen had to do something to help her, but he just didn’t know what to do.

(I understand. But, can I do it?)

Orphen glanced over at Childman. Right now, the teacher’s attention was concentrated on the men who were fighting Azalie. He also noticed that Childman was holding back, and so he made up his mind. Orphen was determined, and he ran in the direction of Azalie.

(I need to take that sword away from her and escape. That way, Childman will come after me and Azalie will retreat just like last time.)

He looked at the sword lying at her feet, Orphen opened his mouth and began chanting a mantra. And with one deep breath, he increased his body’s strength. With the strength of a beast, he slid past Azalie and grabbed the sword. Then he made a break for the forest, but behind Orphen ——.

“Hartia! Krylancelo has taken the sword! Go after him!”

In the midst of the battle, Orphen could hear Childman give Hartia an order.

Boom, boom…

He could constantly hear explosions going off behind him. From the sound of things —— he could tell that Azalie wasn’t dead. He tightened his grip of the huge sword of Baltanders, and stopped in his tracks. Looking into the forest, he couldn’t see anyone approaching.

(Childman probably sent one or two guys with Hartia after me. However, this will only give Azalie the advantage.)

Orphen began to run again, he wanted to avoid fighting Hartia at all costs.

But——

“Fire!”

Hartia shouted. The tree Orphen just ran by caught fire, and began to burn. Orphen knew he had to turn around and face him, or risk getting hit in the back. Orphen stood there waiting for him, and for the first few seconds he couldn’t see him. The suddenly, he came out of the heavy forest and threw his rifle to the ground. He pulled his sword out of it’s sheath and charged forward.

“That monster killed Komikuron! Do you remember him? He was from our class, Childman’s class!”

Hartia shouted. He was killed when Azalie hit him with her lighting, Orphen mustn’ve noticed that it was him.

“……That was Komikuron?”

Orphen muttered. Then Hartia angrily spoke.

“Everyone knew how dangerous this operation would be, but you continue to disappoint us!”

“Disappoint?”

“You betrayed us!”

Hartia fiercely said, as he pointed at Orphen.

“If you are so determined to save her, then end her suffering. Can’t you see she doesn’t have the will to fight?”

“You want me to kill Azalie.”

Orphen’s smile was full of irony. He then stuck the Sword of Baltanders into the ground, standing upright.

Hartia’s look changed to that of disgust.

“She no longer has a heart, she is simply a beast.”

“That’s not true, the sword can change her back to her old self. And I’ll be the one to do it!”

“Did you forget? She killed Komikuron!”

“Yes, because you attacked her first. It’s called self-defense.”

“Even so, didn’t she attack you first. That’s not what I would call self-defense!”

“It seems our opinion runs along two parallel lines.”

Orphen deliberately imitated the tone of Childman. This lit a fire in Hartia’s eyes.

“Then it’s war from here on out!”

“This won’t end well for you. Remember what happened last time, Black Tiger?”

Orphen quickly began to chant.

“Sword of Light, whom I do release!”

Boom!

A wave of light and heat exploded between the two men, dirt and dust was kicked up all around them. Orphen took advantage of this and jumped backwards, to distance himself from Hartia.

Meanwhile, Hartia started chanting.

“Darkness!”

At that very moment, darkness came upon them from every direction —— so much that you couldn’t even see the stars. Even with his strong nighttime vision, he couldn’t see through this darkness. Orphen continued to jump backwards, he didn’t think Hartia would have casted this in such a big area. But no matter how much he moved backwards, he couldn’t escape the darkness. So, Orphen gave up retreating, stuck out his hand and shouted.

“I withdraw thee——”

However, someone grabbed Orphen’s arm.

“………!”

Orphen was flung through the air and hit the sword, but it didn’t seem to be Hartia who did it.

Orphen threw away the sword, put both of his hands together at this chest and shouted.

“I erase thee, demon’s footprints”

He emitted enough power to bring down the magical environment, it collapsed like a mirror being broken.

Orphen looked around, where he saw Hartia standing ten metres away. But then that’s when he saw her, even Hartia noticed his expression of disbelief.

“Cleo!”

“Orphen!!!”

She spoke with a tearful voice and came charging through the bushes behind Hartia, she kicked the red-haired man onto the ground. Then she stood on top of him —— no doubt about it, that’s Cleo.

“Help!”

Then Vulcan and Dortin came jumping out for the bushes too, jumping on the poor Hartia as they came running towards Orphen.

“Monster! There’s a monster! This is your line of work, you black sorcerer bastard!”

“What my brother means to say, is help.”

“You guys, what’s going on?”

Orphen said as he hugged the girl, the moved onto the hard questions.

“Well, I wanted to help find the monster and ——”

“She hit it with a rock! You’ve got to help us.”

“I didn’t do it on purpose you dimwit!”

“Calm down guys. You mean Azalie, don’t you?”

Orphen looked in the direction he had just came from. He saw Hartia attempting to lift himself up, he had an extremely angry face.

“You bastards!”

But just as he shouted, a huge figure came flying out of the bushes.

Hartia screamed as if he was gonna die, as it looked like the beast was going to trample him. Orphen quickly took a stance, and started changing.

“Sword of Light, whom I do release!”

A bright light lit up the entire forest.

A wave of light and heat struck the shadowy figure, blowing it up. After the dust had settled, Orphen could see that the explosion sent Hartia flying a couple of metres from where he last was. He ignored Hartia writhing in pain, and concentrated on the half blown up corpse of the monster. He could see that it was squirming as it’s organs were now exposed, it was smaller than he thought. It looked nothing like Azalie, for one it looked like a mixture between a cow and a bear. It also had a large bladder near it’s throat. 

“Looks like your monster was just a wild animal.”

“Is it dead?”

Cleo said, as she tightly hugged Orphen’s waist. Orphen then put his hand on her blonde hair and spoke.

“For the most part yes. Though, I didn’t expect to see this kind of beast around these parts.”

“Ha ha ha!”
Orphen could hear laughter behind him. He turned around to see Vulcan standing on the head of the now comatose Hartia, and Dortin standing beside him. Vulcan proudly raised his sword into the air and shouted.

“Look, I gave the final blow to this sorcerer I, the Masmaturian Bulldog am victorious.”

“……He’s not dead.”

“Then I’ll pull his hair out until he dies!”

“…………”

Vulcan started to spout more nonsense, while trampling over unconscious Hartia’s body. The Orphen spoke softly.

“……Get off him will you? I’ve got more pressing matters.”

“Thanks for saving us.”

Cleo pouted as she let go of Orphen’s waist. Orphen nodded in agreement. He then looked at Hartia’s unconscious body, it seemed he was in a coma. Orphen then softly whispered as he knelt down to his body.

“I won’t let you or the Tower of Fang kill Azalie.”

“…………”

Hartia couldn’t answer.

“Did you say something, Orphen?”

Cleo asked. Orphen replied rather coldly.

“It’s nothing.”

He then picked up the Sword of Baltanders off the ground and handed it to Cleo.

“Keep the sword and Hartia safe. I still have a job to do.”

Orphen finished talking. He heard an explosion come from the direction of Azalie, then Cleo stood in front of him.

“Please wait a moment!”
Cleo said sincerely, she then threw the sword at Vulcan and Dortin. Both of them caught it and went tumbling backwards.

“Those two can guard the sword. Don’t cast me aside……I can come in handy.”

“Listen here ——”

After listening to her, Orphen suddenly felt like he had too much baggage. He needed to say something that could change her mind.

“Fine, you can come with me.”

Orphen finished his sentence, Cleo was ecstatic and started cheering. Then moved for a little bit until——.

“Hey, wait a minute.”

“Why?”

“I’ve come all the way here and I’ve got blisters on the bottom of my feet. If I continue like this my feet will start to bleed, could you possibly carry me?”

Orphen ignored her and ran on ahead. The cheering behind him instantly turned into cursing.

He made it back to the battlefield and saw that it was over. It was obvious that Azalie was winning, scattered across the area were a couple of corpses. He saw the burned old white sorcerer, and Komikuron, there were two other headless bodies. Orphen took another look around and saw an unidentifiable black sorcerer that was also burned.  Everyone seemed to be killed by black magic.

(……Why didn’t she use white magic?)

This was bugging Orphen, from the first time she appeared at the Everlasting household she didn’t use white magic. He wondered if she could even use white magic at all.

Azalie had an extraordinary fighting ability. After all she was know as the demon witch, one of the best black sorcerers. However, he only counted five corpses. That just leaves Childman.

He was staring directly at Orphen, he had just returned from checking on Hartia. He turned his attention to Azalie, and shouted.

“Light!”

An amazing volley of light emanated from Childman and struck Azalie, causing an explosion. It was so hot that it scorched the ground nearby, but it seemed Azalie didn’t suffer serious injuries. She must have casted a magical barrier.

(With such terrible strength, I don’t think Childman can win.)

Azalie then roared, and started to prepare an attack. Then teacher and student both took a stance, and both shouted in unison.

“I spin thee, armor of light!”

Both of them summoned a barrier around them, but Childman’s barrier was less than perfect. Parts of his clothes started to catch fire, he could be in real danger. Azalie loomed over him and prepared her next attack. Orphen smirked and thought it ironic.

“Do you need my help?”

“Komikuron may not be dead?

“I can’t help you. I want to save Azalie and you want to kill her.”

Then Orphen frowned.

“Azalie’s strong isn’t she? She has the kind of power that no mere human can match.”

“Of course she does.”

Childman coldly answered, as he started another mantra.

“Light!”

“Stop it!”

Orphen shouted.

Azalie and Childman both unleashed an attack on eachother. Both of their barrier withstood their attacks, but after the bright light disappeared, Childman was nowhere to be seen.

Then all Orphen could hear was Childman laughing.

“Are you really going to defend that monster while I cast magic until dawn?”

“I want you to understand one thing.”
Orphen looked at Azalie, after a brief pause, he began to talk.

“There must be a way to save her, we need to figure out how we can use the Sword of Baltanders.”

“…………”

Childman stared at Orphen with uncertain eyes, this lasted a while. But in the end, Childman begun to laugh. For a change, his face was full of emotion.

“You’ve grown up to become a good man. Someday I will need a successor, that person should be you.”

“Childman, cut the bullshit——”

Orphen was cut off mid sentence. Dazed and confused, he looked down to see a dagger plunged deep into his gut. He could smell and taste blood in his mouth, the pain was unbearable. It was hard for him to resist the temptation to rest his eyes.

“Child…man…why——”

He could barely utter a sentence, before Childman calmly replied.

“Don’t worry, I’ll heal you after I’m finished.”

“You……bastard.”

Orphen stretched out his hand only to touch nothing. Childman gently turned to face Azalie, she was roaring. But he was one step ahead of her, for her was already chanting.

“Demon!”

Tap Tap Tap

It sounded like the devil’s footsteps, a tremendous force weighed down upon the earth. So much that the area surrounding Azalie began to sink into the earth, she could feel the pressure squeezing her tightly.

Azalie started to groan loudly, as if she was gonna cast magic. However, she soon stopped groaning, as the newly formed atmosphere began to surround her. It was like a big black mist that covered the area, and before long she was completely covered in it.
Suddenly, there was a bright flash as intense magical explosions went off. Azalie was being rung like wet towel, the Childman moved over to Orphen and began to heal his wounds. But Orphen payed no attention to that, he was only concerned for Azalie. The temperature of the monsters body rose very fast, and the monster suddenly fell to the ground. Ignoring the intense heat, Orphen touched her head.

“Azalie!”

He shouted her name but didn’t get a response, her head was full of burn marks. However, she was faintly breathing, and her half melted eyelids slowly began to open.

“Azalie. It’s me, Orphen——it’s me, Krylancelo! Azalie!”

“Kry…lan…celo!”

Azalie’s eyes suddenly snapped open——her eyeball was almost human, but it was burning bright red. Her voice was trembling so it was hard to hear what she was saying. However, this wasn’t Azalie’s voice. It was that of a mans.

“Krylancelo! I’ve been looking for you.”

“…………?”

Orphen stared blankly at her, or rather him, as it continued talking.

“I can’t see anything anymore, I can only hear. I want to understand things, but I cannot see.”

“……What’s going on?”

Orphen asked, but the monster didn’t give a satisfactory answer. Like a dying person, it stuck out it’s hand.

“…I…want…to…help…her…”

“…………”

“I’ve…been…looking…for…you…I’m…sure…you…can…help…her…”

The monster couldn’t speak anymore, it’s eye’s twitched a little then stopped. It seems the monsters life had finally ebbed away.

Orphen raised his head. He saw Childman standing in front of him with a deadpan——no, he only saw a satisfied look bruning in Childman’s eyes. As he looked down upon the monster.
In the silence of the night forest, shouting suddenly rang out.

“Damn! You bastard! You’re like an old man carrying sacks of flour, I outta whip you into shape.”

“Shut up!”

“If I were two feet taller I could beat you with one arm.”

Orphen looked and saw Hartia holding Vulcan, he then saw Dortin and Cleo following him. Hartia didn’t seem to be in pain, he must have strengthened himself with magic. In addition to the three hostages, he was also carrying the Sword of Baltanders.

“Orphen, I’m taking the sword back to the Tower.”

Hartia smirked.

“My acting wasn’t bad, right?”

Hartia said, as he was held Cleo and the other’s hostage.

However, Orphen payed no attention to his words. He didn’t even care, about Hartia or the Sword of Baltanders. Because Orphen was beginning to understand his stupid tricks.

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