The reinforcements were archers…! They would have had to be special arrowheads to pierce through wind dragon armor. If I kept going like this, without being able to see them, they would make a pincushion of me in no time. It pained me to do it, but I had to retreat…!
And I must do it quickly. It was just as I activated Legs of the Forest Wolf and attempted to run in the opposite direction. Another human had entered the field I was covering with Presence Detection. While not quite as fast as me, it moved at an incredible speed towards the four reinforcement guards. And in a flash, they were dead.
Who was it? A friend? It was coming towards me now. I focused on it with Presence Detection. Ah…so she had been hiding after all…
“You saved me…Daniela.”
“Damn it, Asagi. You always let your guard down.”
It was Daniela. I was so frantic that it had taken me awhile to realize it was her…
“…Ah, there’s no time to talk. Eve escape in that direction. Right now…I can’t see… I’ll catch up to you, so you go on ahead!”
“I will deal with her!”
I feel something soft and moist on my lips. Then she immediately pulled back and ran in the direction that Eve had gone. Damn it…
“I couldn’t ask for a more reliable partner.”
I sat down and let out a sigh. There was no one around me. Daniela had killed them all… I needed to rest a little and recover my eyesight. Then I would go after her. Daniela would be fine until then. I couldn’t help but smile.
□ □ □ □
As I rested in Vent’s house in order to recover my magic, I heard the sounds of fighting coming from outside. Surely it could only be from Asagi. There was no doubt about it. He would be fighting Eve.
“I have to go…”
“Hey, hey. You can’t go while you’re still like that.”
“My partner is out there.”
“Didn’t you say that you were lost? Who are you fighting?”
It would be hard to lie any further… But he was not likely our enemy. After all, he had not put poison in the food. He had the compassion to aid a complete stranger. I would have to talk to him and make him understand.
“I am not…lost.”
“I see. And…?”
“I…we are fighting against the captain of the guards.”
“What did you say?”
Vent’s expression grew harsh. Did I read him wrong…?
“Why didn’t you say this sooner! I would have gladly helped you crush her once and for all!”
“Don’t look so surprised. Half the people in this town are no friends of hers.”
Half, you say?
“Is that true?”
“Aye. Though, to be precise, the people on the other side of the river are against her. I’m working undercover, you see.”
“Well…you could have told me that sooner…”
“I guess that works for the both us then. Am I wrong?”
No. Not at all.
“So I suppose you weren’t merely tired from traveling?”
“Aye, my magic has been drained… Do you have any potions?”
“Just one. Well, it’s a very potent one, at least.”
So saying, Vent went to the back of his room and produced the bottle. Ordinary magic recovery potions were a dark blue color. A deep blue…which meant that it was low in quality. You could judge the quality of a potion by the brightness. Darker colors meant worse quality, while brighter colors meant higher quality. Of course, the higher the quality, the higher the price.
And the potion that Vent produced was a bright blue color, just like the sky. It would likely cost nearly thirty pieces of gold.
“But this is of the highest quality…are you certain?”
“I am. You are not from this town, but you are one of us. In my opinion, you have a right to drink it.”
And so he pushed the bottle into my hands. I accepted it, looked at him and then the potion, and hesitated.
“…I will pay you.”
“There’s no need to act so reserved. And hey, you complimented my cooking. This is to show my gratitude.”
The corner of his mouth lifted in a playful smile. I couldn’t help but laugh as well. Damn it…these good-natured people were everywhere.
“Very well, I will not act reserved then.”
“And I will not pay you either.”
“So there is no use regretting it later…”
“Just shut up and drink it!”
There was no more need to talk. I pulled off the cork. The scent drifted out of the bottle and tickled my nostrils, but there was no time to relish it. I downed it in one gulp. As one would expect from the finest quality, the sluggishness in my limbs vanished in a second. I now felt as if I could fly.
“I have never felt better. Eve does not have a chance.”
“That’s the spirit. Go and destroy that leader of the bandits!”
“Count on it! And thank you!”
Vent raised his thumb towards me and I returned the gesture before flying out of the house. He had helped me a great deal. I survived because of him and also escaped hunger. And now, I would be able to win this battle.
“I sense Asagi’s presence over there.”
There was immense magic flowing from his body. Spirits were lured by my jade magic and were gathering around me. And so I decided to ask for their help.
“I want to go to Asagi. Will you help me?”
They waved their little hands and granted me the protection of the wind. Now, I could run almost as fast as Asagi. Yes, I would run faster than I ever have in my life. Wait for me, Asagi. I will reach you faster than you can blink.
And so I ran, cutting down the guards and kicking away any in my path. Running. To where Asagi waited.